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Can sustainable healthcare innovation potentially change lives?

The goal is to improve access to care while reducing the cost of care in a dynamic, patient-focused reality

Can sustainable healthcare innovation potentially change lives?
[Source photo: Pankaj Kirdatt/Fast Company Middle East]

Healthcare is being challenged to ensure global accessibility, reaching every corner of the world at an affordable price while adopting a sustainable approach. 

For Vincenzo Ventricelli, CEO, Philips Middle East, Türkiye and Africa, the reason to focus on affordable and high-quality access to care is all too clear. “Up to 3.5 billion people – half the world’s population – still don’t receive the health services they need.” 

Even though universal health coverage is complex and multifaceted, it’s an exciting area of innovation whereby a multi-stakeholder model, in combination with digital technologies, can support the sustainable transformation of primary healthcare services for all.


The company’s goal is to improve the lives of 2.5 billion people by 2030, focusing on reaching 400 million in underserved communities. “We’re committed to collaborating with public and private partners, leveraging technology to enhance healthcare sustainability and expand access,” says Ventricelli. 

To strengthen the healthcare system, collaboration is crucial, along with involving local communities, governments, NGOs, international organizations, private sector companies, and investors.

Sustainability is deeply integrated into the company’s innovation processes through EcoDesign. And to be sustainable, maintaining agility requires a commitment to science-based targets, circularity, and EcoDesign principles. Ventricelli believes such dedicated commitments effectively respond to evolving standards and global challenges.

He says, “The aim is to design all new products and services in line with EcoDesign requirements by 2025. This means improving the energy efficiency of our products, using fewer resources and more recycled content, avoiding the use of hazardous substances, designing for circularity, and making our packaging easier to recycle and reuse.”

The Philips Health Trends Research conducted in the UAE also revealed that sustainability is a key consideration for healthcare. 

82% of UAE residents stress the importance of sustainability in healthcare, with 51% explicitly highlighting the need for practices that don’t harm the environment. This also highlights the significance of healthcare leaders prioritizing sustainable measures. 

Integrating eco-friendly materials and technologies into product design shows us how innovation can contribute to advancing decarbonization in the industry.


“AI puts people back at the center of care,” says Ventricelli. 

Philips is deploying AI-driven solutions that range from diagnostic imaging, image-guided minimally invasive therapy, radiology workflow enhancement, clinical decision support, and patient monitoring to remotely connected care, sleep quality improvement, and consumer products for healthcare professionals and patients.

“Our commitment to developing patient-centric, AI-enabled systems aligns with the ongoing digital transformation in the Middle East’s healthcare systems,” he added. 

In terms of products, Philips has launched the Compact 5000 Series, a portable ultrasound solution for the META region, offering premium imaging previously limited to larger cart-based systems. 

The portability improves the patient’s experience by bringing ultrasound directly to them, avoiding the need to relocate. The system also features Philips Collaboration Live telemedicine software, allowing remote users to control the unit’s settings to acquire diagnostic quality images, reducing the need for follow-up scans and centralized hospital visits.

Healthcare providers are also increasingly taking advantage of AI to reduce the burden of repetitive administrative tasks for physicians, nurses, and technologists so that they spend less time in front of computer screens and more time with patients. This not only streamlines workflows but also holds the potential to significantly enhance staff experience and productivity.


“Our focus for 2024 and beyond will be on partnering with purpose for real impact and real results,” says Ventricelli. 

The focus is optimizing clinical and operational efficiency, expanding care capacity via telehealth and virtual care, enhancing clinical collaboration with informed decision support, and improving system agility through interoperability and connected digital platforms.

In the end, the aim is to build strong and lasting partnerships in both the public and private sectors, continue to deliver critical clinical solutions that improve care and the general experience for patients and staff alike, and continue to team up, collaborate, and co-create to help create connected, value-based care models.

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