Philips signs five-year alliance with Massachusetts Institute of Technology

To develop healthcare and lighting systems technology to help improve patient outcomes and energy efficiency

Henk van Houten said the Boston area is rich with innovative talent

Philips has formed a US$25m, five-year research alliance with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA, US to develop innovative healthcare technology and lighting systems. The move is an integral part of a broader Philips strategy to accelerate innovation and growth.

The Dutch company will also move its North American research headquarters to Cambridge based on the area's concentration of startups and research labs – especially in the biomedical area – and its close proximity to the MIT campus and the research projects that will be supported by the MIT-Philips alliance.

Joint teams will work on advancements in HealthTech, for example to help improve the management of cardiovascular disease and the diagnosis and treatment of various types of cancer, focused on improving patient outcomes, while reducing costs. Through the alliance, Philips will gain access to MIT’s experts and clinical partners, allowing the company to explore applications for population health management through the use of patient-centric, high-resolution imaging, healthcare informatics and data analytics. This research will account for 70% of the funding. The other 30% will be used to explore the advancement of efficient lighting systems and services for densely populated cities.

Peter Szolovits, a professor of computer science and engineering and of health science and technology at MIT, says Philips has expressed interest in working with MIT researchers on improved ultrasound and other non-invasive diagnostics, as well as systems for extracting useful medical information from large databases. This includes many data sources, such as patient records, that may be written in ordinary language.

Henk van Houten, Global Head of Philips Research, said the Boston area is 'rich with innovative talent and by moving to Cambridge and collaborating with MIT, its staff and its partners, Philips can work with some of the best minds in the world on healthcare delivery, looking at ways to better prevent, manage or treat common diseases'.

In addition, he said the partners will explore advancements in connected lighting systems that can improve energy-efficiency, safety, productivity and quality of people’s daily lives.

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