Signify View: Philips Qualcomm Deal

Publication Date: 12/09/2016

Written by

Steve Holloway

Earlier this week, Philips Healthcare and Qualcomm Life Inc. announced a strategic deal to leverage components of each firms’ product offerings. Philips will benefit from enabling users of its HealthSuite cloud platform to connect to a wide array of devices that utilise Qualcomm’s 2net Platform connectivity. The company claims it will allow Philips devices and third-party devices secure connectivity, data capture and transmission to the HealthSuite platform.

For Qualcomm Life Inc, the deal allows the 2net platform to utilise secure storage and data management provided by the Philips HealthSuite platform, while also allowing Qualcomm Life customers to make use of the analytics and application building capability of the Philips platform.

The Signify View

1) This is a good move for Philips
Philips has a strong presence for medical devices in the hospital and ambulatory care setting and has been actively pursuing business in the homecare and telehealth space. They have also been industry pioneers of the “all-in-one” managed service approach to provision of equipment and IT for hospitals and health systems.

Tapping into Qualcomm Life’s well established medical-grade 2net Platform opens up a wider range of uses and options for Philips HealthSuite customers in terms of device compatibility. The 2net platform is also a leading solution for homecare and telehealth third party devices, a market Philips is keen to capitalise on. This also plays well into the “all-in-one” managed services model Philips has been pushing in recent years.

For Qualcomm Life, the HealthSuite platform has a large global installed base of devices and users, so the deal opens up a significant portion of Philips’ customer device data to Qualcomm, allowing better understanding and insight into medical device use, a potential boon for health connectivity in the hospital and ambulatory sectors, not to mention healthcare credibility in partnering with a leading industry brand.

2) Connectivity is a necessity in health data aggregation
There’s a good reason why many of the world’s largest tech firms are entering healthcare: health data is becoming big business. Google, Microsoft, IBM and many others have identified the untapped potential and are piling into big data analytics. Moreover, health providers are looking for ways to learn more from patient data, be it how to prevent disease, lower the cost of care and better manage population health.

This is where the value of integrating the Qualcomm Life 2net Platform is greatest for Philips. By enabling all 2net Platform compatible devices to be connected to HealthSuite, Philips is opening up access to a far greater pool of patient data, especially in the homecare and personal health & wellness market. By expanding the volume and variety of health data ingested into its platform, Philips can glean more insight about usage and demand, strategically valuable information for a vendor also offering a range of own-brand devices.

In addition, the larger the pool of data aggregated in HealthSuite, the more valuable the platform will become to users and potential strategic partners down the line, while also enabling their healthcare provider customers to benefit from greater functionality and data sources in HealthSuite.

3) The game has changed
Most striking when considering Philips’ recent market activity has been the push to become the central part of a healthcare solution “ecosystem”. Philips has realised the great value of its health provider customer base, clinical expertise and regulatory experience.
For a company like, a recent partner of Philips Healthcare in forming the HealthSuite platform, this is invaluable, both in terms of market entry and growth potential. GE Healthcare is already heading in a similar route with its HealthCloud, and other traditional medical device firms are also moving in this direction.

Strategic partnerships such as these also demonstrate that the business model for the largest healthcare technology vendors like Philips Healthcare, GE Healthcare and Siemens Healthineers has changed dramatically. A decade ago, the model was based on advanced R&D in hardware, tactical pricing, emerging market expansion and long-term lucrative maintenance and warranty service contracts.

Now it’s far more about ecosystem and partnership development, being the central connector of a co-operative, aggregating health data, utilising clinical and regulatory expertise. It also allows traditional medical device vendors to reign in some control over new market entrants, while their platform “ecosystems” remain right at the centre of the market and deeply entrenched in long-term, enterprise deals with healthcare providers.