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Philips to take on 19 AI enterprises in first global startup collaboration

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | October 18, 2018
Artificial Intelligence Health IT
Royal Philips has selected 19 start-up
companies to participate in its
first global AI start-up program
Nineteen startup companies specializing in the design of AI-based tools will take part in the first global startup collaboration organized by Royal Philips.

The 12-week program, known as “AI in Healthcare for Radiology, Ultrasound and Oncology”, will take place at four innovation hubs of Philips’ worldwide, focusing on applications of AI-based clinical decision tools for image interpretation, analysis and integration, as well as workflow solutions such as intelligent treatment plans for radiology, ultrasound and oncology.

"Each of these specialties are facing very real challenges right now, largely due to case volumes escalating," Darren Adams, innovation lead at Philips HealthWorks, told HCB News. "It is well recognized that AI enabled solutions are going to help with solving the dual aspect of diminishing expertise in both developed and developing countries, dramatically increasing cost of healthcare, increasing populations and incidences, and a lack of dispersed high-quality healthcare."

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Selected out of 750 applicants, the 19 early-stage startups will leverage the expertise and skills of Philips’ and its hospital's, academic, industry and financial partners, to build, test and scale their ideas, while exploring possible partnership opportunities with the healthcare giant.

Topics addressed in the program will be based on prior discussions between Philips and the HealthWorks team on the challenges and insights of customers regarding their strategies and gaps in product portfolio. The aim is to understand where Healthworks can make the biggest impact in response to external factors such as competitive pressures, maturity of technology, customer feedback and the stage of solution development by startups.

The structure of the program is based on four parameters, including the problems that Philips and startups together can solve; the goals of startups over the next 6-12 months for the enhancement of their solutions and how Philips can assist; finding an appropriate collaboration mechanism; and creating or accessing the capabilities and assets for making the solution a success, and where they can be sourced from.

Establishing the program ties in with Philips’ “adaptive intelligence” approach, in which AI is combined with other clinical and operational technologies to form solutions that adapt to the needs of healthcare providers, and are embedded within their workflows.

To achieve this objective, Philips has engaged in a number of partnerships, including one with Nuance Communications Inc. last November at RSNA. The collaboration oversaw the combination of the Philips Illumeo with adaptive intelligence and the Nuance PowerScribe 360 platforms for the implementation of AI-based tools that enhance imaging interpretation and reporting capabilities for radiologists.

It also introduced its HealthSuite Insights artificial intelligence platform earlier this year at HIMSS, offering access to advanced analytic capabilities and tools to create and deploy AI-based solutions across its imaging systems, patient monitors, and oncology and genomic solutions.

Adams says implementation of the program is highly necessary to stay on top of quality healthcare delivery in the future. "On its current trajectory, the world will simply not have enough human and financial resources to deliver quality care in the traditional hospital or nursing home model to our rapidly growing and economically-developing population. At the same time the growth rate and diversity of the compiled healthcare data has far outpaced our ability to analyze it, to extract relevant correlations, to create and validate models and meaningful hypotheses using traditional approaches and methods."

The program will be carried out at Philips’ innovation hubs in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Eindhoven, the Netherlands; Bangalore, India; and Shanghai, China.

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