Philips: the intersection of health, science, technology and beauty

I attended the Women of Wearables conference where Raymon uit de Bulten delivered a keynote presentation on Philips and their work at the cross section of healthcare, science, technology and beauty. As an organisation, their guiding aim is to improve 2.5 billion lives per year by 2030 with their products, including 400 million in underserved communities. What I found of particular interest is the way in which Philips are mobilising technology to find healthcare solutions.

During the Covid-19 crisis, healthcare is being delivered at home more than ever before. The use of tele-health increased by 3000% in 2020. Despite this access to care, in the UK we have seen still births increase from 8 to 10 per thousand births, perhaps attributable to fewer hospital check-ups during pregnancies. Philips developed a maternity tracker to be used from home or in designated hospital settings to protect pregnant mothers. This prevents the need for physical connection with healthcare professionals, without sacrificing the monitoring of the mother’s health. The potential for this device is not restricted to pregnant women — it can also be adapted to monitor patients with chronic conditions, and protect them from potential exposure to coronavirus.

Virtual care and health tech is a booming industry , and is likely to remain so. As an investor in the health tech industry, in particular the femtech space this was a fascinating talk. I am a proud investor in the Femtech sector, and one of NJF Capital’s investments is Elvie, a London-based company founded by Tania Boler. Frustrated to find that women’s health has been given inadequate attention in both the research and technological fields, Boler set out to make remedying this her priority and to “get women talking about health issues more”. She has achieved this goal through two of Elvie’s key products: the Pump and Trainer. The former is for breastfeeding, the latter is for the pelvic floor.

Digital health offers exciting opportunities for innovation within healthcare, and improves accessibility across populations, including those in underserved communities and those with chronic illnesses. The presentation offered an insight into how organisations can offer a holistic service to their consumers through technological innovation. As healthcare and femtech investor, I am looking forward to seeing how these developments can help to provide quality, accessible healthcare.