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Technology as a key driver for change


To reach patients in communities with limited access to healthcare, Philips Foundation plays a proactive role in understanding local community needs and deploying Philips digital and connected healthcare solutions to address the medical needs of communities in low-resource settings. Fast and reliable access to advanced medical support in underserved communities helps reduce healthcare barriers, such as having to travel to a larger hospital due to local staff and medical capability shortcomings.


Philips Foundation supports initiatives that aim to digitalize and integrate technology-enabled healthcare solutions in underserved communities.


Explore related projects in our Knowledge Hub


Our approach


Two major obstacles to providing healthcare in underserved areas are the lack of financial means and lack of human resources. The solutions we propose must take these challenges into account. Philips Foundation supports initiatives aimed at integrating technology to reduce healthcare costs and increase access to a doctor or specialist at a distance through virtual care.


We collaborate on projects that aim to create evidence for new ways of delivering digital healthcare, addressing existing gaps and barriers in the local health system. In leveraging Philips technologies – such as mobile ultrasound, medical information apps, sensors, testing, monitoring and data collection – the aim is always to have a substantial positive impact on people’s lives. Digital technology enables early disease detection and timely referral, allowing people in their own communities to become the first link in the healthcare chain.


Below are some of our projects that drive locally adapted technology solutions.


While only one piece of a broader challenge, Philips Foundation is building technology enabled capacity to address deficiencies in access to high-quality imaging through point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) training.


In collaboration with experts at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center (UCSF MC) and the HEAL Fellowship, a portable ultrasound system is paired with integrated tele-ultrasound capabilities in the Navajo Nation, and a structured POCUS fellowship program is being established.


Beyond the provision of mobile ultrasound technology, the education program is training a small group of dedicated physicians to become fully competent in the use of point-of-care ultrasound. The program will provide additional mentorship to help these physicians become leaders in point-of-care ultrasound education and will allow them to implement a sustainable education program on the Navajo Nation, thereby increasing the number of physicians and nurses that are trained to use POCUS each year.


Philips Foundation and UNICEF Kenya, in collaboration with Philips, teamed up with Kenya Ministry of Health, and both Kisimu and Kakamega county’s health departments, to improve medical equipmentmanagement through a technology-enabled remote monitoring solution.


An assessment undertaken before the implementation of the project indicated that a quarter to a third of all equipment was not functioning. This large-scale effort involved 100 health facilities in the counties Kisumu and Kakamega in Kenya. The objective wasto improve access and quality of mother and child services by strengthening medical equipment management in these facilities while not overburdening medical staff.


The Philips’ digital remote monitoring solution for medical equipment allows primary healthcare facilities to monitor device status and track device breakdowns, repair histories and maintenance routines from a centralized dashboard. This dashboard,combined with appropriate workflows and capacity building to fix equipment quickly, will help reduce downtime and save lives. Based on the results, this initiative will be used to advocate for improved national and county medical equipment management policies and the scale-up into other counties in Kenya.


Phase 1 in 2020 entailed the development of the app, including intensive research onvaluable contact numbers and locations in municipalities, communities and cities, as well as in the districts and federal states, for possible referral in case the end-user finds anomalies during breast self-examination and is able to receive the necessary care.


Phase 2 in 2021 included the launch of the app on International Women’s Day in March, followed by a broad communication campaign to reach the specific target groups. The app is now live and available in 21 languages, such as German, English, French, Spanish,Turkish, Standard Arabic and Farsi.

knowledge hub

Sharing our experience to establish sustainable healthcare for underserved communities


Our access to the expertise and capabilities available at Philips, combined with those of our partners, allows us to adopt original and distinctive approaches and to explore and disseminate them in a scientific manner. With our exploratory approach, Philips Foundation is a learning organization, and at the same time, a platform for knowledge dissemination.


Click here for the full repository of our projects

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