Health Technology and the World Bank Group

On October 11, at the Human Capital Summit 2018 Philips CEO Frans van Houten co-Wordmarksigned an open letter, to the world community highlighting the need for greater investment in human capital – the knowledge, skills, and health that people accumulate throughout their lives – through better nutrition, health care, education, jobs and skills. The publication of the open letter coincided with the launch of the World Bank Group’s Human Capital Index – a simple but effective metric for human capital outcomes such as child survival, early hard wiring of children for success, student learning, and adult health. Philips has made a commitment to improve the lives of 3 billion people by 2030. We are working with the World Bank Group (among others) to reach this goal.

Ever since the World Bank promulgated a new procurement policy in 2016, a pathway has opened up for the introduction of more advanced digitally connected healthcare solutions to help solve equity gaps in healthcare delivery.  Specifically, the new procurement rules move away from a reliance on low-cost procurement standards, which some blame for creating graveyards of cheap, malfunctioning and obsolete healthcare equipment.  Instead, the new policy encourages a “fit-for-purpose” approach, which uses low cost standards when appropriate and value-for-money procurement standards when large, sophisticated medical diagnostic imaging equipment is needed.

Along with its industry peers, Royal Philips was invited by the World Bank to provide input on a guidance document for the Bank’s clients on understanding how to procure medical diagnostic imaging equipment.   These discussions are on-going today as the Bank continues to seek best practices to reduce upfront capital expenses while increasing impact.

In 2019, Philips has been successful in using the World Bank procurement rules to successfully conclude World Bank-funded contracts in central and eastern Europe as well as in Asia.   Furthermore, the conversation around effective procurement standards and effective business models is very important for Philips if it is to achieve its goal to increase access to quality healthcare to 400 million underserved persons by the year 2030.

Philips Community Life Center – primary care solutionsAmref_Makueni_14 (002) (002)

There are quite a number of medical facilities in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, the reality for many communities in developing countries is abject lack of adequate medical care and the necessary infrastructure to deliver healthcare.  In addition, most of these countries see very little investments in healthcare.

Patients find a lack of infrastructure and medical supplies such medicines and vaccines, shortages of skilled healthcare staff capacity, no electricity or clean water. As a result, most people go to the hospital – if they can afford it – and bypass primary care altogether.  For those who cannot afford the longer trip, they may delay care, which carries its own risk to health.

The strong need for primary healthcare in low resource settings has led Philips to design the Community Life Center (CLC), which addresses the unique needs of these communities.  The CLC, a primary care solution includes basic infrastructure, offering off-grid energy, lighting, water and hygiene. It also offers medical devices, including ultrasound and patient monitoring capabilities, as well other digital health solutions – patient monitoring, diagnosis, referrals and refrigeration for blood and supplies storage.

The CLC platform aims to turn a health facility into a community hub, where technology is bundled with an integrated service package and community empowerment interventions. The facility offers a clean and reliable energy supply; efficient and durable indoor and outdoor lighting to enable extended opening hours and provides a safe playground and sometimes the.

Going far…together

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Healthcare delivery is a complex enterprise. Projects like the implementations of CLCs require Philips to work with broad stakeholder coalitions that combine multilateral development banks, communities, government, the private sector, NGOs and impact-investor expertise.  Large companies like Philips offer the potential to scale, offer experience in large-area operations, and offer access to financing. Philips participates in a number of inclusive collaborations that combine resources and expertise between diverse stakeholder groups.  For example, the Dutch development bank FMO, technical advisory from the IFC, various forms of collaboration with the United Nation agencies are crucial to our success. These multi-stakeholder approaches bring resilience and strength to problem solving, helping to overcome embedded challenges involving the lack of skills, technology and infrastructure in developing countries.

The United Nations in Kenya has embraced this multi-stakeholder approach by leveraging the private sector skills and knowledge.  The establishment of the Sustainable Development Goals Partnership Platform in Kenya aims to accelerate the transformation of primary healthcare in support of universal health coverage.  The Government of Kenya and the United Nations co-host the platform with the World Bank, private companies, local hospitals, NGOs, academia and donors also participating.

Through co-creation, the SDG Platform aims to unlock investments in primary healthcare.  In March of 2018, Philips participated in the first co-creation initiative with nine counties in Kenya.  Over three days, some 100 people worked to identify common challenges using the framework of the World Bank and World Health Organization to understand the whole scope of primary care delivery (PHCPI).

The CLC is a scalable, self-sufficient concept for primary healthcare delivery and social development that Philips has pioneered in Africa and successfully introduced across the continent. To date, Philips have introduced similar solutions in Kenya, Ethiopia, DRC and South Africa as part of its commitment to improve the lives of 300 million people in underserved areas of the world by 2030.

About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology, deep clinical, and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2018 sales of EUR 18.1 billion and employs approximately 78,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at