Philips gives COPD patients a lifeline with new gadget

Philips gives COPD patients a lifeline with new gadget

David Kender, Reviewed.com 12:34 p.m. EDT October 14, 2014 USA Today

There are many wearable health-trackers on the market, but few manage to bridge the divide between
personal and professional use. Philips today announced the release of a new wearable diagnostic device
for chronically ill patients that promises to do just that.

By using a digital biosensor, Philips is now able to record biometric data of people suffering from chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), then push that data to the new cloud-based HealthSuite Digital
Platform using the patient’s personal mobile device. While the biosensor itself isn’t new—they’re using
an existing sensor called the HealthPatch—the cloud-based service allows both patients and doctors an
unprecedented level access to realtime, round-the-clock health data.

According to Philips, physical activity and inactivity, respiratory function, heart rhythm, and heart rate
variability are all monitored. The data is then retrievable via two apps: Philips eCareCompanion and
eCareCoordinator, making it possible for doctors to monitor patients remotely.

“Instead of people just going to the hospital when things have deteriorated—they’re so short of breath
or it becomes life-threatening—[the information] is coming in way ahead,” says Jeroen Tas, CEO of the
Philips Healthcare Informatics Solutions and Services business group.

COPD is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S., according to data from the World Health
Organization, so the need for innovative solutions is pressing. However, it’s clear from speaking with
Philips that the company views the new sensor as just the start of a larger movement.

“Consumers want to be managed within health care, not sick care,” points out Richard Wergan, EVP and
Global Head of Brand, Communications, and Digital at Philips.

The HealthSuite digital platform should allow both patients and doctors to gain greater insight into
patient health with more and better data presented in a user-friendly app.

Philips recently restructured its business operations, splitting off its lighting arm and merging the
consumer electronics and healthcare divisions into a new company. Philips already has a deep reach into
the healthcare market in the U.S. and beyond.

The announcement of the COPD sensor and data hub indicates what this newly formed Philips may have
in store for the future.

“This is the first one of a series that we will do,” says Tas. “If you have a chronic condition, then
leveraging mobile technology with really low cost sensors… [and link] that through real-time data
analytics into a care setting, you can develop completely new propositions.”

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