Monday, July 16, 2018
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Philips senses opportunity in digital

Posted by pakin On February - 26 - 2018

Philips Thailand Co, a healthcare business arm of Royal Philips, the Dutch electronics company, plans to focus on digital healthcare this year to capitalise on the government’s Thailand 4.0 policy.

Viroj Vithayaveroj, the company’s chairman, managing director and general manager of health systems, said Thailand’s 4.0 scheme persuaded the company to focus on selling more digital products this year. Connected healthcare is the forefront of Philips’s strategy for growing the business, he said.

Examples of connected healthcare include electronic toothbrushes such as Philips Sonicare, which can monitor a user’s oral health through a mobile app, and the Philips Air Purifier that captures 99.97% of particles and automatically purifies and visualises indoor air quality via numerical feedback, with the option to check the device’s status remotely on a smartphone.

These innovations reflect key global trends and the response to these products in Thailand has been better than expected, Mr Viroj said.

“People want to live longer and they are recognising the importance of taking a more active role in their own health,” he said. “With advances in personal technologies — like wearables and smartphones — they have the ability to do so. Prevention is more important than treatment.”

Mr Viroj said the company will also tap the hospitality industry to expand the health systems business beyond healthcare services, introducing the automated external defibrillator for international hotel brands.

Moreover, Philips plans to offer hospital design solutions in Thailand to differentiate itself from other healthcare companies. The company expects sales to better the industry’s this year but gave no further details.

Mr Viroj said Thailand’s healthcare industry has posted continuous growth of at least 10% over the last four years. The market value is now estimated at 30-40 billion baht.

“The healthcare business is not sensitive to any economic slowdown,” Mr Viroj said. “We believe the growing momentum of the healthcare business will continue this year because patient numbers should rise as a result of Thailand becoming an ageing society and the health-conscious trend.”

In addition, Asean economic integration has increased opportunities for Thai hospitals to welcome more patients with purchasing power from neighbouring countries, he said.

Philips founded its Thai operation in 1952. It makes healthcare, lifestyle and lighting products. The company started manufacturing in Thailand in 1960 with an incandescent lamp factory.

 

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