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For Philips, Asia-Pacific is filled with opportunity

by Thomas Dworetzky , Contributing Reporter
Philips continues to make moves in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region in response to trending market growth and increasing health care demands.

One key is that the region is aging — the number of people over age 60 is projected to hit 1.3 billion by 2050, according to the United Nations.

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“APAC’s rapidly aging population and finite medical resources require a rethink of how, and where, health care is provided,” Caroline Clarke, CEO for Philips Asean Pacific, told The Nation Thailand Portal.

New technology will allow addressing this by creating better resource allocation and management, both for personnel and equipment. “This is a focus area for us,” she said. “Our teams have been pioneering the use of telehealth technologies to help specialist doctors ‘see’ more patients, while also developing remote access solutions to safely extend the provision of medical care outside the four walls of hospitals, to the home, and remote corners of the world.”

Her group has also invested heavily in the region recently. Just last year the company unveiled a new regional headquarters in Singapore.

And this year it announced a partnership with Singapore-based EDBI to make investments in regional digital health technology, which Clarke told the publication, “remains a focus for us for 2018 and beyond.”

Beyond that, in July, Philips and the Singapore Institute of Advanced Medicine Holdings, in collaboration with Varian Medical Systems and IBA Worldwide, announced plans to build the new Advanced Medicine Oncology Centre in Singapore.

Helping spur interest – and investments – in APAC are results from the latest Future Health Index study, backed by Philips. It looked at 19 countries to gauge health system preparedness for future challenges and determined that Asia ranks high in its understanding of the importance of connected care technology – especially wearables and trackers, home monitoring systems and live telehealth options.

This sets the stage for advances that are yet to come in rolling out such approaches, and also for a move toward earlier health care interventions. “The second trend that we are seeing in APAC is a mindset shift, amongst both the general population and health care providers, that prevention is more important than treatment,” stressed Clarke.

This opens the market for health lifestyle gear – from healthier cooking equipment to air purifiers, to healthy baby products, and the like, she noted.
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