BIG-BIG-BIG: Company, Heart and Checkbook

March 12, 2015
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“Delivering Innovation Across the Healthcare Continuum”
Christopher Hall, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Radiology Solutions, Philips Healthcare
March 2, 2015

“Delivering Innovation Across the Healthcare Continuum”
Christopher Hall, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Radiology Solutions, Philips Healthcare
March 2, 2015

The last time I was in the Turner Auditorium at UW Health Sciences, I was a Clinical Informatics student learning about telehealth as more or less a theory. That was five years ago; now sitting in the same seat the numbers are flying in with results showing how telehealth is saving big bucks for hospitals. For example, according to the presenter Mr. Hall, Banner Health saved 20-40% utilizing more or less the same platform that Wellpepper uses. Sending patients’ home with a tablet and/or connection devices (scales, heart monitors, etc.) and having patient compliance mechanisms in place, i.e. emails, chats between providers and patients. 20-40%, honestly? Wow.

A common thread through his presentation was the importance of streamlining care from the “waiting/hospital room to the living room” and to empower patients through careful, thoughtful and collaborative innovation. To me this is the ultimate goal to accomplish in telehealth, that and the obvious, for patients to get better. Philips currently has 190 million patients with 1 million being monitored in their homes everyday under their charge, this is a large population to be accountable for, so much so next year there will be ‘Philips Lighting’ and ‘Royal Philips’, the latter being in charge of just healthcare.

Telehealth Project from my UW SON Clinical Informatics class. Circa 2011

Telehealth Project from my UW SON Clinical Informatics class. Circa 2011

Philips’ focus now, and in the coming years as Royal Philips, is on the chronic disease patient population, since they make up about 75% of healthcare spending and home health care can help reduce costs without compromising quality. Home healthcare can also prevent readmission to the hospital by 20% and their electronic ICU platform helps significantly with early detection through the ‘over the shoulder care’. Patients are 26% more likely to survive and 15% are discharged faster. Those percentages are not easy to ignore, and the stronghold that telehealth has on a patient’s life, quite literally, and family is remarkable. Ironically I couldn’t help but giggle, during my graduate degree our team designed an ‘electronic ICU’ of sorts as a project, and it was nice to see those numbers while sitting in the same seat. Kudos, Philips, who knows: maybe someday you will save my life or that of someone I love.

Please view previous blogs from the Health Innovators Collaborative series.

For more information on these seminars please visit UW Dept. of Bioengineering website.