Philips has inked a deal with the largest health insurer in the Netherlands, Achmea, for a pilot home healthcare project that could eventually become rolled out across Europe. Philips' goal is to help doctors monitor patients' health remotely but to also equip patients with respiratory diseases with products help them better manage their conditions at home.
Philips estimates that the global market for home healthcare is about 100 billion euros (about $148.3B) and the company is looking to target about 5 percent of the market. One of the drivers of Philips continued push into home healthcare is the growing population of people over the age of 65, which will increase to 50 percent of the population in the EU by 2050.
"We need devices that collect information about the patient, an infrastructure to get that information to the physician or provide software that can triage that data and thus enable the physician to focus on patients that need attention," Walter van Kuijen, general manager at Philips' home monitoring healthcare told Reuters.
Philips is also pursuing the fitness and wellness segments of the home healthcare market -- last week at TEDMED the company demonstrated its recently launched pedometer or activity monitor, called DirectLife. The service includes a real, live staff of coaches that helps users create activity goals and encourages users to achieve them. The device is a small medallion that can be worn around the neck of in the users pocket. When plugged into the user's computer, users can view charts that review their activity levels. The tiny device also includes a eight, tiny green lights that aim to give users a rough idea of how well they are keeping up with their goals. Six lights means the user has achieved their goals 100 percent, while seven or eight means the user surpass their goals. Fewer than six? Better get walking.
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