Razor Blades, Toothbrushes, and Population Health


I’m confident most of our readers have heard of the Philips Corporation – a gigantic global, publically held company, headquartered in the Netherlands.  In addition to making more light bulbs than any other company on Earth, they are a household name in the personal products field, as they market razor blades and toothbrushes!  What is most fascinating however, is that this amazing company is pivoting to become a population health and healthcare powerhouse.  I recently had the privilege of delivering the plenary address at the annual meeting of the 2500 persons who comprise the leadership of their North American workforce.  I believe that Philips, through the dissemination of tools such as telemedicine, heart rate monitors, and internet-enabled health tracking devices, will be able to collect data that could help to improve the health of many different populations across our country.  With the additional purchase of the well-known health information technology company called Wellcentive, Philips will also create patient registries that will enable clinicians to self-evaluate, close the feedback loop, and improve care. general-4

At the conclusion of my plenary presentation, I had the distinct honor and privilege of meeting former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell.  General Powell, now nearly 80 years old, is an icon, and it was a special honor for me to shake his hand and spend some private time with him just before he took the stage.  He is very forthcoming about some of the medical challenges he and his family have faced, and is a strong proponent of public accountability and transparency in the healthcare system. I truly admire the General and was particularly pleased to meet him in person.



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