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Philips calls for broadening of technology in the delivery of healthcare beyond e-Health patient records

Announcement posted by Philips 21 Sep 2010

Australians put health in hands of future technology – but where is it?

Press Information

SEPTEMBER 21, 2010

Australians put health in hands of future technology – but where is it?

Philips calls for broadening of technology in the delivery of healthcare beyond e-Health patient records

Sydney, Australia – With so much news being devoted to the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) it comes as no surprise that Australians overwhelmingly believe that medical technology will help them live longer, according to the worldwide attitudinal study on health and well-being released today by Philips. The company is focused on patient empowerment through e-health, ensuring patients can interact with it how and when they want to improve their health and well-being.

The results are in line with the general optimism Australians feel about their health and wellbeing with Australia rated third overall in the world. According to the study, 64 per cent of Australians believe medical technology will allow them to live longer.  The result is on par with most other countries with the exception of Japan (14%) and the UK (38%). Seven in 10 18-24 year olds (70%) believe they will live to be 91 or older.

Dr. Eric Silfen, Chief Medical Officer for Philips commented that Philips was not surprised to see that the Australian data correlated with most of the other developed markets in the world.

“Most people in markets such as Australia recognise the valuable contribution that advances in technology have made to overall health outcomes in the last ten years. What I find surprising is that the focus in Australia has been entirely on patient health records when the applications to clinical decision making and patient care are so much more crucial. The focus needs to shift from just being about the privacy of patients, to what solutions we can implement to enhance their health and well-being,” said Dr. Silfen. 

“Developments in technology and communications have the potential to change the way we perceive healthcare. We predict that technology will revolutionise access to healthcare both in the hospital and at home. Advances in clinical research, for example the ability to detect pre-cursors to disease, along with faster, better bioinformatics and telecommunications have lead to more meaningful innovations,” he said.

Further, the research also indicated that Australians want more funding allocated towards preventative health screening (54%), home-based health-care (47%) and aged care (46%), all areas that are set to benefit significantly from advances in technology.

“Already we have the technology that enables doctors to remotely monitor and diagnose patients, and this is being taken advantage of in many parts of the world. In the near future this capacity will extend beyond the full care cycle right from diagnostics to in home treatment thereby delivering better utilisation of funding and clinical resources and a much more convenient and accessible means of care for many Australians, particularly in regional and remote areas,” said Dr Silfen.

Australians feel it is most important for the governments’ eHealth scheme to include virtual healthcare teams that allow for professional to collaborate from anywhere in the country and beyond. 55 percent also believe the scheme should deliver tele-health solutions to care for people in rural and remote areas.

In terms of current technology, 70 percent said it has made life better when it comes to medical treatment, along with health maintenance and prevention (68 percent) and medical diagnosis (67 percent).

Commenting on Australia’s recent election outcome and the Federal Government’s decision to go ahead with the NBN, Dr Silfen stressed the importance of collaboration in order to maximise the NBN’s full potential for health care delivery and provision.

“With the National Broadband Network decision made and the project underway, it is crucial now for governments, healthcare providers, clinicians and technology vendors alike to work together to develop sustainable, outcome-based solutions to meet tomorrow’s healthcare infrastructure needs. One thing is for sure, how we utilise, interact and treat ourselves will be very different in the years to come,” said Dr. Silfen.

About the Philips Index: Australia’s Health & Well-being Report 2010

The Philips Index: Australia’s Health & Well-being Report examines the mega-trends that shape each nation’s healthcare, lifestyle and who we are as a society, with a focus on what aspects of health and well-being are most important, how satisfied people are with these aspects, and the role that technology plays in helping society maintain better health and well-being.

As well as reporting on Australian’s overall feeling of health and well-being, the report derives a ‘health and well-being index – the Philips Index’. This is an analysis where overall satisfaction with various components of health and well-being are weighted by their relative stated importance.

The 2010 Philips Index: Australia’s Health & Well-being Report is part of a global initiative and is being replicated in over 30 countries around the world.


For further information, please contact:

Laura Rodrigues or Paris Searson

Fleishman-Hillard Australia

Tel: (02) 9025 9237 or (02) 9025 9205

E-mail: laura.rodrigues@fleishman.com or paris.searson@fleishman.com

About Royal Philips Electronics

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of “sense and simplicity”. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs approximately 116,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 23 billion in 2009, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter.