Strengthening health systems to enhance access to healthcare

We explore healthcare delivery models and solutions with respected NGOs to improve access to healthcare in low-resource settings

Through impactful collaboration with international non-governmental organizations, social entrepreneurs and academic parties, we look at innovative solutions to improve access to healthcare for disadvantaged communities. Exploring health technologies such as telehealth, point-of-care diagnostics and dedicated solutions for low-resource settings, we aim to build the evidence and insights that can help create a platform from which these solutions can scale to larger impact in a sustainable way.

Improving cardiology care in Africa

We support the multi-year campaign BackToRhythm to educate the public about risk factors, reinforcing the need for a healthy lifestyle, and empowering the public to identify warning signs and symptoms. BackToRhythm 2019 was held in Eldoret, Kenya. Over 6,500 people participated in the campaign, cycling, running and walking a total of 10,800 kilometers and securing the donation of 25 defibrillators to the Kenya Red Cross for placement in public spaces. In addition, over 200 health professionals were trained on aspects of cardiac health, ranging from sports cardiology to life support.

Increasing the reach of ultrasound diagnostics

In projects in Kenya, we are educating midwives to deliver antenatal pregnancy screening in village clinics, while receiving telehealth support from radiologists at distance. With Aga Khan University, we will offer this service at primary care levels in three sub-counties of Kilifi and assess the effects on aspects such as quality of service, uptake of early prenatal care, improved outcome of pregnancy, and communication between pregnant women and community health workers – all ultimately indicators of better maternal and child mortality outcomes.

Innovative approach to combat pneumonia

We run a number of innovation projects in India and Africa, exploring digital and diagnostic tools to support health workers. One of them is VISHWAAS (Breath of Hope) project with Save the Children, social enterprise ZMQ and Philips India is aimed at developing and proving a low-cost innovative approach for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of childhood pneumonia. This includes an appbased mHealth solution. The project is set to bring high-quality pneumonia care to approximately 90,000 under-five children in India.

New income and procurement models

We continued our project with Amref Health Africa – in collaboration with FMO, Philips and Makueni County, Kenya – that focuses on developing a sustainable financial model to revolutionize primary care in Africa. The model simultaneously improves health prevention, health-seeking behavior and financial risk protection at community level, as well as access to and quality of healthcare services. Implementation in three clinics showed increased service uptake, revenue generation and insurance uptake.

In our collaboration with NGOs we do not just donate: we try to effect lasting change, deploying innovation and scalable models that will make healthcare provision more equal, and commonplace for many millions of people.


Margot Cooijmans

Director of the Philips Foundation

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