Global Q&A Series: 4 Questions with Egbert van Acht, Philips Personal Health Businesses
Appointed the head of Philips’ Personal Health Businesses in October 2017, Egbert van Acht oversees the company’s Health & Wellness, Personal Care, Domestic Appliances, and Sleep & Respiratory Care operations. He’s been with Philips since 2002 and has held various leadership roles throughout Philips, most recently as the head of the Health & Wellness group.
Dealerscope: What attracted you to the consumer tech world?
van Acht: I have always been motivated by working for a company that makes a positive impact on people’s life. For more than 125 years, Philips delivers meaningful innovations that answer to people’s needs and expectations. In the Personal Health Businesses - one of Philips’ three businesses segments that I am leading since October of this year - we offer products and solutions that enable people to live a healthy life in a healthy home environment, and to proactively manage their own health and well-being, and get the most out of life.
What do you think is the most important thing that you are working on right now, and why?
Philips has gone through a pivotal process to successfully transform itself from a diversified conglomerate into a focused health technology company. We need to keep delivering on this strategy with flawless execution and make a difference for the hundreds of millions of people around the world who use our products, services and solutions. We are on track to deliver on our vision of improving the lives of 3 billion people per year by 2025.
How is your industry being disrupted right now, and what are you doing to stay ahead that disruption?
Aging populations, the rise of chronic conditions and relentless pressure on the cost of health systems, along with the increasing power of technology to help prevent or cure illness, provide a compelling opportunity to change the way we take care of ourselves and each other. A new era in healthcare is emerging, one in which people increasingly take ownership of their health and well-being, supported by the transformation to outcome-driven healthcare, also known as value-based healthcare. For Philips – as a unique company with a strong presence in both the consumer health and professional healthcare worlds – this presents a new opportunity to extend our leadership in health technology. It’s a challenge we’re ready for, thanks to the capabilities and experience we’ve built up over more than 125 years as an innovation company.
Where do you see your industry heading in the next 5, 10 years?
Digital technology, artificial intelligence, connectivity and the Internet of Things have fundamentally disrupting the landscape for health technology. Already today, Philips is at the forefront of digital health, providing integrated solutions that combine systems, smart devices, software and services – connecting patients and providers to deliver highly effective personalized care.
In the next years, the boundaries between consumer health and professional healthcare will have vanished completely, and the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence will no doubt play a bigger role in addressing global health challenges, from supporting life at the earliest stages to chronic care for elderly.
The Dealerscope Global Q&A Series is supported by IFA and showcases some of the leading brands to exhibit in Berlin each year.