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Good design's strategic role in business

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Philips' Health Continuum Space is the first innovation facility for healthcare stakeholders to collaborate on solutions.

Philips Design
Winning project: Health Continuum Space (Innovation Facility)
Category: Experience Design
Award Tier: SG Mark Gold

TO ENHANCE its innovation efforts in the healthcare sector, Philips created a space that brings to life different medical scenarios, such as a home setting, an ambulance, emergency and recovery rooms, as well as an intensive care unit.

Known as the Health Continuum Space, the first-of-its-kind innovation facility for Philips globally, allows government officials, healthcare professionals and related stakeholders to collaborate on solutions across the health continuum.

Using Philips's signature "iterative co-create" approach to design, the fully-configurable facility helps these various parties to visualise a patient's journey - from living healthily at home, to being diagnosed and treated for an illness. The space is the brainchild of Philips Design.

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"Philips Design has more than 90 years of experience and is behind most of what you see from Philips - from our consumer products to the professional healthcare equipment and solutions to our work in designing hospitals and hospital workflows for healthcare professionals," said Low Cheaw Hwei, head of design at Philips Asean Pacific. "Philips Design plays a key role in partnering with the various business teams in-country and has an integral part especially as the company transforms itself to become a global health technology leader."

He noted that the Health Continuum Space project was a design-led initiative to create a radical "business tool" in the form of an innovation facility that reflects the company's transformation into a solutions-based business.

Mr Low believes that the role of design has evolved beyond the creation of end-products and services, and has taken on a strategic role that is represented at the management team level and consulted upon to solve business problems.

In particular, it sits in the "sweet spot" of "understanding people, translating the abstract into something tangible and practical, dealing with fuzziness, creating empathy, and synthesising multidisciplinary solutions".

"These are necessary elements that will help any business increase its chances of doing better and in navigating the Fourth Industrial Revolution," said Mr Low. He noted that Philips participates in all leading global design competitions as it is important for the company to gauge where it stands in terms of design quality and capability in the region.

"Our participation in SG Mark 2018 also demonstrates our support for the Singapore design industry and its development. It is a recognition of the quality of design we deliver and also the value of design as a contributor to the Philips business transformation journey in becoming a health technology leader."

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