Frans van Houten, CEO of Philips, on the future of radiology

Frans van Houten, CEO of Philips, on the future of radiology

by Gus Iversen, Editor in Chief | December 07, 2017
Business Affairs RSNA

HCB News: That seems to tie in with the RSNA opening session, where it's becoming less about one individual's reading and more about building this team approach to imaging.

FVH: I think there are various reasons for a team approach, whether capacity is not always where it needs to be or the specialist is in the wrong place... through the cloud you can bring them together. But there is also the issue of variance and quality assurance.

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There will always be some people who are fantastic but if we can package their knowledge and support other practitioners to do a better job then that's desirable, but yes it does mean the soloist attitude will go away.

HCB News: We see all these cutting edge solutions at RSNA but a lot of this is stuff that hospitals and imaging centers across the country and throughout the world won't have access to. How does Philips make itself valuable to those hospitals?

FVH:Our preferred engagement with customers is an ongoing relationship and not a transactional relationship. If we sell someone a product and don't see them for a year then that's not very effective in terms of optimizing clinical outcomes and productivity - so we would rather be a partner to the hospital.

HCB News: In the form of service.

FVH: Exactly. So pivoting from a transactional model to a service model means we can stay better in touch with the customer and the focus should not be on the device but on the workflow and the processes and a service orientation suits that — but it also helps to reduce the threshold of adoption. Why should a hospital have to fork out so much money for something that they don't get the best use out of? Redesigning workflow, first time right, less waste... that's what we're trying to bring to the market.

HCB News: How would you say Philips distinguishes itself from other major OEMs?

FVH: We are committed to the space. Philips has made its transformation and made our choices, we have no where else to go but to be successful in health tech. I think customers appreciate the stability that comes with that and knowing we are investing in the space with high R&D, we are acquiring companies.

Also, the solutions approach, where we want to be the systems integrator for the hospital. We don't want them to struggle with interoperability and sub-optimized silos but rather an end to end approach. Hospitals are pivoting toward a patient-centric, workflow orientated approach and I think that is the future so I think we are much more ready for that future given the choices we've made.

HCB News: This year at RSNA it seems like artificial intelligence and 3-D printing are the very buzzworthy topics... what will everyone be talking about next year?

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