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Philips to open telehealth center in Singapore: report

Iain Morris
September 17, 2014
Dutch technology giant Philips is reportedly opening a telehealth center in Singapore that will allow hospitals to treat patients remotely.

According to a report from The Straits Times newspaper, the center will be located at Philips’ regional headquarters in Toa Payoh.

Philips (Amsterdam, Netherlands) is apparently rebuilding that facility to support the new initiative, which seems to be a response to growing healthcare demands from an ageing population.

Industry observers cited by the report also note there is an urgent need in Singapore to find solutions that do not tie up hospital beds.

Philips recently announced it was collaborating with Eastern Health Alliance and Changi General Hospital to develop and pilot a telehealth program for heart patients in Singapore.

“Singapore is a vital innovation hub in the region for Philips,” Frans van Houten, the chief executive of Philips, is quoted as saying by The Straits Times. “With the new telehealth center, we aim to improve patient health and lower treatment costs by monitoring patient conditions and reducing the need to hospitalize patients.”

“Healthcare costs are soaring through the roof,” he is said to have added. “Clearly, healthcare has to be industrialized. We have to reinvent our health care (systems) and the way it is delivered … from prevention, to diagnosis, to treatment, and to home care … New business models will become part of it as well.”

Philips expects the telehealth center to become a catalyst for similar hubs across the region.

The Singapore hub, which is reportedly due to be completed in the first half of 2016, will have R&D facilities as well as a “digital command center” for monitoring consumer trends.
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