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Phillips-Salesforce Unveil Cloud-based Healthcare Platform

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Royal Phillips Electronics (PHG) and Salesforce.com have joined forces to deliver an open cloud-based healthcare platform to facilitate collaborative care management between patients and healthcare professionals. The platform aims at maintaining patient relationship whereby medical practitioners will be able to work closely with patients to ensure the best treatment. The platform will also assist medical device and data interoperability – the collection of data and subsequent analysis to help professionals take effective clinical decisions and enable patients to assume a more active role in managing their personal health.

Healthcare organizations are increasingly facing the need to provide more cost-efficient, patient-centric outcomes. The cost dynamics of the healthcare industry are gradually shifting, mobilized by rising incidence of chronic illnesses, infectious diseases and increasing life expectancy. These cumulative factors also indicate an urgent need for improved perception of underlying trends.

In order to facilitate smooth operations, healthcare organizations regularly process vast data in different forms. Thus, this strategic alliance will create a platform that will utilize Philips' clinical data stores and medical device interoperability. This collaboration will be open to developers and is expected to result in a vibrant ecosystem of partners working on innovative applications. As a result, the novel platform has the potential to transform both professional healthcare delivery and personal health management at the same time.

Notably, Philips eCareCoordinator and Philips eCareCompanion are two clinical applications presently operating under the alliance. These applications enable care teams to observe patients with chronic conditions at their homes and also aid Home clinical programs, such as Banner iCare. The  Banner iCare program is being initiated at Banner Health, a pioneer accountable care organization in Arizona. According to the Multicenter Study of ICU Telemedicine Reengineering of Adult Critical Care, similar telehealth-based care delivery models for hospitals utilizing the Philips eICU program were shown to lessen mortality by 26% and length of stay by 20%.

Considering the afore-mentioned positives, this innovative platform is believed to cover the entire continuum of care: from self-care and prevention, to diagnosis and treatment through final recovery and overall wellness. Based on the Salesforce1 Platform, this platform will facilitate collaboration and workflow, as well as integration of data from multiple sources, including electronic medical records, diagnostic and treatment information obtained through Philips' imaging equipment, monitoring equipment, personal devices and technologies like Apple's HealthKit. Further, this platform boasts high scalability along with built-in privacy and data security.

Separately, Phillips recently unveiled NeuroSuite, a novel X-ray system which is expected to assist minimally invasive neurological surgeries. The X-ray solution will provide effective device placement in live image-guided neuroradiology procedures, thereby extending treatment options.

Phillips is a leading consumer electronics company with its Healthcare division accounting for about 43% of its total revenue in fiscal 2013. The company’s Healthcare segment is the third largest manufacturer of medical diagnostic equipment, which includes X-ray, ultrasound, magnetic resonance, medical information technology (IT), nuclear medicine, patient monitoring, information management and resuscitation products, as well as a comprehensive range of services.

Phillips currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the sector include Universal Electronics Inc. (UEIC), Garmin Ltd. (GRMN) and GigOptix, Inc. (GIG). While Universal Electronics sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Garmin and GigOptix carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). 

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