Philips introduces healthcare and lighting solutions in Kenya Dennis Mbuvi
Philips today announced its business strategy in Kenya at an event held at Nairobi’s Intercontinental Hotel. Presided over by JJ van Dongen and attended by other executives, the event is one among a series of scheduled events meant to cover Africa from Cape Town to Cairo. JJ van Dongen is the Senior Director and General Manager of Philips Healthcare Africa. Other cities to be covered include Dar-es-Salaam and Kampala.At the event, Philips highlighted existing and new products targeting the African market in both health-care and solar lighting. Dongen emphasized that Philips was focused on more than just providing products but instead in providing a total solution.Philips showcased various healthcare and lighting products and solutions targeting both corporate and retail customers.
"Fifty per cent of healthcare equipment in African hospitals are not fully functional, " said Dongen. This was attributed to various factors, including cost of the equipment. With hospitals in both public and private sectors upgrading their equipment, Philips had arranged for a roundtable discussion with stakeholders in the healthcare sector later in the day. At the same time Dongen stated that, "In healthcare, private hospitals were one step ahead of the government in adopting of new technology from Philips".
To bridge this gap, Philips has come up with a solution where healthcare equipment will be sold to selected Government hospitals in a "Pay per study" scheme. Dongen explained that institutions purchasing healthcare equipment would not be required to pay for the equipment upfront, but invoicing would be based on the number of patients. In addition, Philips would also arrange with the hospitals on training of staff.
Said Dongen: "Philips will provide a solution encompassing hardware, training and finance ". Philips would work with the hospitals to sustain high uptime of the equipment as part of the solution.
The Healthcare Informatics iSite solution was part of the solutions being introduced. The iSite Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) and Radio Information System(RIS) are web based solutions utilizing Internet Standards and protocols for communication and would utilize Central Storage for archiving. This would lead to lowering of costs associated with medicals tests. iSite PACS has already been installed at the Nairobi Hospital with the institution being the first to have it.
The event also doubled as a launch/showcase for Philips lighting/solar products. Philips has grown from a light bulb manufacturer in 1951 to be at the forefront of lighting technology. Philips has put considerable effort in developing Light Emitting Diode(LED) Technology.
LED lighting products have increased in efficiency wih LED bulbs now lasting upto 50 times (50,000 hours) a normal bulb. This revelation came with the announcement of a breakthrough 60 Watt equivalent LED bulb by Philips. Philips announced that LED had accounted for more than 10 per cent of their total sales last year. The increasing adoption of LED coupled by other factors such as legistaltions curbing on the use of incandescent lamps are expected to drive the adoption of LED in the market to 50 per cent by 2015 and 75 per cent by 2020.
Philips has coupled the technological advancements in LED technology with solar technology to provide solar lighting solutions especially targeting the un-electrified African population. Tamer Alboghar, the General Manager Egypt & East Africa Philips Lighting and Philips Egypt country General Manager explained how the efficiency of LED bulbs enabled the use of smaller, affordable solar panels and battery packs.
The use of solar powered lighting would help reduce the US $ 17 billion that Africa spends on kerosene to provide lighting for 500 million people annually. Philips would also be targeting municipalities in providing solar powered street lighting.
Kenya was the first country in the world to use solar powered LED football floodlighting solutions for five-a-side matches organized by the Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA). In addition Philips would provide several other solar powered home lighting solutions in the country.This will include a solar powered 'reading light' that will provide 4 hours of light after a full day’s recharge. The product is aimed at school going children in rural areas.