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Philips on designing innovation and cultivating partnerships – part one

Sachin Grover, lead of solutions vertical at Philips India, tells me about the company’s innovations during India’s COVID
The post Philips on designing…



Sachin Grover, lead of solutions vertical at Philips India, tells me about the company’s innovations during India’s COVID outbreak and how they’ve led to increased healthcare access in the region.

There is a vast difference in India’s healthcare system between rural and urban areas, but Philips’ team in the region is working hard to close that gap and improve access to healthcare.

“It’s been 75 years since India’s independence. Most healthcare parameters, those Key Performance Indicators, have improved overall, but there is absolutely room to improve further,” Grover states.

In 2021, India suffered a major COVID outbreak causing significant challenges to its healthcare system and exacerbating the already present disparities in the region.

India’s health sector

The biggest challenge seen in India is in healthcare spending. Overall, when looking at the private sector and government together, healthcare spending is close to 4% or 5% of India’s GDP, with the majority coming from the private sector.

“Government spending on healthcare is still hovering around 1.5%, though there are conscious efforts to improve that with the new schemes launched of universal health care,” Grover says.

“Still, the investment in infrastructure is abysmally low on the government side. What that has led to is most of the private sector investments have come in metro areas and tier one cities. Not so much in tier two and tier three.”

Approximately 75% of the population resides in rural tier two and tier three cities and villages in India, and less than 20% of the country’s medical facilities are in those regions, creating an enormous imbalance and leading to immense inaccessibility for millions of rural residents.

“Philips is doing a lot of work to balance out these inequities. One way to enable access to care is digitising the patient journey to reduce the gap between the metros and the villages. We’re also trying to leverage our expertise on design,” Grover states.

Portable healthcare units

When COVID struck the region, there was a need to devise facilities to accommodate the growing patient population. Philips utilised its internal architect team to create an ideal solution for individuals with few resources in remote locations.

“We have an architecture team, where we look at designing hospitals and smaller centres. During the COVID situation, our architects designed portable units, keeping in mind the need for building new ICU beds quickly,” Grover states.

“There was a dearth of ICU beds at the time and a need for emergency rooms.”

The architects understood the ins and outs of a healthcare setup, the patient workflow, and more and designed portable units fit-for-purpose.

The units could be broken down into parts, placed on a truck, and driven to a site. The entire unit could be assembled in two days.

The placement site only needs a water connection, electricity connection, and sanitation. Once the units arrive onsite, one simply plugs them in.

“The unit comes with a fully dedicated air handling unit, with gas and vacuum pipelines, and the architects kept the flow of air in mind. Airflow is crucial when setting something up for infectious diseases,” Grover states.

“You don’t want cross-contamination to occur. The way we designed the unit, air inlet comes in, in the passage while the outlet is on top of a patient’s bed, which means it is uniflow and, hence, cross-contamination is minimal.”

During the design phase, the architects also considered how the unit’s recipients could repurpose these facilities once the pandemic was over and included digital means to allow for easy communication with outside healthcare providers.

Digitising care

There’s a built-in infrastructure in the portable units capable of transmitting data, and the entire unit has land cabling laid out, where one can plug in devices.

The team also incorporated a tele-ICU solution where tier two and three regions could communicate with larger tier one healthcare facilities.

Grover states Philips is looking at digitising ICUs because that can be a powerful tool in settings with no senior technicians. In digitising ICUs, a clinical decision support system can be present.

“The units can connect to a remote tele-ICU type of setup, where a clinician sitting remotely can support the staff in the ICU itself,” Grover says.

“There can be senior clinicians monitoring the patient data coming in from the hubs. At this point, clinical staff is there who is assisted by a senior clinician with data transmission happening seamlessly. It’s actually doing wonders in the market.”

There are many ways in which the units can be utilised. They were designed where they could be fit-for-purpose and are not incredibly costly. There’s interest worldwide to see if these portable units can be installed outside the Indian market.

“We were conscious to consider that when the pandemic is over, the customer should be able to use them, say, as a dialysis centre or an outpatient department centre. Clinicians could come in and do consultations, or the units could be used as proper birthing suites,” Grover states.

Targeting maternal mortality

For quite some time, maternal and infant care has been a focus for Philips. In India, they’ve adopted a software solution called Mobile Obstetrics Monitoring (MOM), which was initially founded by Philips’ Connected Primary Care Solutions (CPCS) team.

“It’s a 1,000-day journey from when a lady is pregnant to when the child is two years old. We considered how you could take care of the mother and child, so there are lesser maternal and infant mortality rates,” Grover states.

MOM is a hub and spoke model where a primary healthcare worker goes to an expectant mother’s house, takes down readings, and feeds that data into the app. In the remote setting, a senior doctor monitors all the data coming in and can guide the healthcare worker at the house.

“With the MOM solution, we are actively engaging with the government to see how they can leverage this kind of solution to enable maternal and child care,” Grover states.

Grover states that with any of Philips’ offerings, the company considers both the solutions’ capabilities and the needs of local markets when working to offer its innovations to outside parties.

“We take pride in saying there’s no one solution that fits all. We try to tailor the solutions depending on the need of the land. That’s what our goal is. That’s the way we would rather improve lives. There is no other way to do that. You have to contextualise to the market,” Grover states.

In part two of our series, we’ll explore Philips’ work in Africa, and how the company says it can partner with pharma to disentangle the challenges faced within the African healthcare system and elsewhere.

About the interviewee

Sachin Grover has led solutions vertical at Philips Indian sub-continent since 2019. Grover’s core responsibility is to understand customer needs and leverage teams globally at Philips and strategic partnerships outside Philips to offer end-to-end solutions for customer needs. In his previous role at Philips, Grover led Strategy for the India sub-continent and successfully led growth and local-for-local initiatives. Grover has developed various new business models at Philips to address customer needs. Before joining Philips, Grover worked with McKinsey & Company as a senior consultant in the healthcare domain. Out of the 18+ years of experience, Grover spent 14+ years in healthcare in various roles, from Strategy to consulting to supply chain and operations. Grover holds a Master of Business Administration degree from NITIE, Mumbai, India, and a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering from MERI, Kolkata, India.

About the author

Jessica Hagen is a freelance life sciences and health writer and project manager who has worked with medical XR companies, fiction/nonfiction authors, nonprofit and for-profit organisations and government entities.


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Majority Of Americans Support Israel, But New Poll Reveals Generational Divide

Majority Of Americans Support Israel, But New Poll Reveals Generational Divide

The week-long conflict between Israel and Hamas escalated on…



Majority Of Americans Support Israel, But New Poll Reveals Generational Divide

The week-long conflict between Israel and Hamas escalated on Saturday as the Israeli military prepares for a potential ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, a move that many anticipate. As of Friday, the death toll reached 3,000 on both sides. While Israel gears up for a ground invasion, most Americans stand behind Jerusalem. 

A new poll commissioned by NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds that 65% of US adults support Israel in the war. This was true for most Republicans (77%) and Democrats (69%).

As for Independents, only 54% support Israel, while 32% say the US should 'say or do nothing'. 

The data reveals huge generational gaps.

There's an incremental decline in support for Israel from the silent generation of 86% to Baby boomers 83% to Gen X 63% to Gen Z/millenials of 48%. 

Young Americans not supporting Israel en masse is not surprising. Dozens of student organizations at top universities across the US denounced Israel last week and pledged support for Palestine. Some organizations at Harvard even justified the actions of Hamas in its war against Israel. 

Regarding racial demographics, about 51% of non-white respondents believe that the US should take such a public stance supporting Israel, whereas 72% of white respondents share this perspective. 

Again, this polling data comes as no surprise, considering Black Lives Matter Chicago celebrated the Hamas paraglider massacre at a rave in Israel with this post: 

And we almost forgot Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D) Democratic Socialists of America have held pro-Palestinian rallies, with some folks holding up Nazi signs in Times Square. 

One thing that stood out among all respondents is that 80% of them were concerned the conflict could erupt into a regional war. And they might be correct about that, as Rabobank's Michael Every warned last week: "The Global Security Order Is Crumbling": From Ukraine War To Middle East War To... 

Tyler Durden Mon, 10/16/2023 - 06:55

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Vanguard Funds Invest In Chinese Military Companies, Report Says

Vanguard Funds Invest In Chinese Military Companies, Report Says

Authored by Terri Wu via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
J15 fighter jets…



Vanguard Funds Invest In Chinese Military Companies, Report Says

Authored by Terri Wu via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

J15 fighter jets on China's sole operational aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, during a drill at sea on April 24, 2018. (AFP via Getty Images)

The Vanguard Group, one of the world’s largest asset managers, invests in Chinese military groups and companies linked to forced labor through index funds, a new report says. The report comes as the Treasury Department finalizes the rules pertaining to a White House executive order prohibiting certain outbound investments to China.

Vanguard’s $70 billion flagship emerging markets index fund includes 60 companies on the Chinese military company sanction list by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) under the U.S. Department of Treasury, according to the report released by the Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) on Oct. 13. CPA is an advocacy organization representing exclusively manufacturers that have productions in the United States.

In addition, the flagship and other Vanguard funds also hold shares of eight Chinese companies sanctioned over human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region, where the persecution of Uyghurs has been identified by the U.S. State Department as “genocide.”

he report didn’t provide a tally of all Vanguard investments in Chinese military companies but listed a total of $100 million in three such groups.

While noting that Vanguard’s fund holdings are legal, CPA urged Congress to take urgent action on the “long-festering, structural problem” that “a weak public policy response by the U.S. government has allowed greed within the asset management industry to supersede urgent American investor protection, national security, and human rights concerns.”

Congress must turn off the tap of American capital flowing to China and stop private and public market investments into blacklisted CCP-connected companies,” Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), chair of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement.

“Americans do not want firms like Vanguard and BlackRock to invest their retirement savings in companies building the Chinese Communist Party’s military and implementing its ongoing genocide against the Uyghur people. If we accept the status quo, we are willfully fueling our own destruction,” he added.

Congressional scrutiny over Wall Street’s role in financing Chinese military companies has been on the rise.

Three months ago, Mr. Gallagher's committee launched an investigation on BlackRock, another leading asset manager, and global index provider MSCI over their role in channeling money to Chinese companies involved in building weapons for the Chinese military. The committee estimated $429 million of such investment against American interests by BlackRock.

In a letter dated July 31 to BlackRock and MSCI, Mr. Gallagher and committee ranking member Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) wrote that, through the companies’ funds, Americans were “unwittingly funding” Chinese companies that fuel the CCP’s military and the two companies were “exacerbating an already significant national security threat and undermining American values.”

Two months later, BlackRock closed its China-focused offshore fund. All shareholders would have to redeem any outstanding shares by Nov. 7 before the fund’s liquidation. BlackRock previously told The Epoch Times that its products “comply with all applicable U.S. government laws” and it’s one of 16 asset managers offering U.S. index funds with investment in Chinese companies. The company didn’t directly comment on the closure of the China fund.

In an emailed response, a Vanguard spokesperson told The Epoch Times, “Vanguard maintains the highest levels of compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, including sanctions law. We welcome additional clarity from policymakers who are in a position to determine sanctions through the formal OFAC process.”

“As one of many asset managers offering investors a range of funds to invest internationally, our clients’ investments in China are primarily through U.S.-based passive index products that provide diversified exposure to many developed and emerging economies,” the spokesperson added.

In August, President Joe Biden issued an executive order (EO), prohibiting U.S. outbound investments to China in industries such as semiconductors and quantum computing. The Treasury Department has published preliminary rules, which listed index funds as excepted transactions under the EO. The public commentary period closed on Sept. 28.

Tyler Durden Mon, 10/16/2023 - 06:30

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How we’re using evidence to tackle net zero, slow economy and new hybrid working – sign up for Conversation partnership events and reports

With its IPPO partners, The Conversation is addressing some of the biggest policy challenges.




Civil servants around the world are wrestling with a vast web of incredibly complex social problems.

From meeting net zero targets in cash-strapped economies, with often low levels of political support, to managing ageing populations, sluggish productivity levels and handling the repercussions of soaring inequality, there are no easy answers.

But a growing body of detailed academic research can help. The biggest challenge is assessing and then effectively communicating this research to governments so they can use it to inform and shape policy.

In December 2020, as the UK was about to enter its third pandemic lockdown, The Conversation partnered on the £2 million, ESRC-funded International Public Policy Observatory (IPPO), a collaboration of UK academic institutions – including UCL, the Welsh Centre for Public Policy (WCPP), Queen’s University Belfast, and the University of Glasgow – and the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA) to help make sense of the flood of COVID-related evidence and then report it usefully to policymakers across the UK.

Three years later, IPPO is now a third of the way through its second two-year phase, and has extended its focus to include the challenges of net zero, socio-economic inequalities, place and spatial inequality and COVID-19 recovery.

It has also been engaging with national and local policymakers to find out what kinds of evidence would be of most use to them. After all, to provide impactful answers, researchers need to know what questions people are asking.

What’s coming up?

Since June 2023, our team has been reviewing the new normal of hybrid and remote work, and how these changes are affecting workers with disabilities and long-term health conditions. In our next report, we’ll look at what policymakers can do to ensure that potential gains from more flexible working conditions are embedded into work spaces.

Read more: Sunak should be wary of backtracking on net zero – what history tells us about flip-flopping on the environment

IPPO has also focused its attention on the challenges posed by net zero goals, and highlighted the pathways and barriers to change when it comes to people making their homes more energy efficient. It has also suggested the novel idea of home upgrade agencies to offer bespoke, data-driven advice to households and help everyone make a positive difference.

This month, the team is holding a public event on the best ways to engage society in how we meet net zero goals, as countries across the world face increased opposition to green policies.

In Northern Ireland and Scotland, the team has also been exploring policy interventions to reduce high levels of economic inactivity. It now intends to expand this research to look at what different geographic areas around the UK can learn from one another.

Innovations in evidence

As part of its remit to challenge and improve how evidence is gathered and used, IPPO recently launched a new series of public, online events on new methods for mobilising evidence for greatest impact, to guide researchers, policymakers and intermediaries.

Our next events on “How to Commission Rapid Evidence Assessments for Policy” and “Systems Mapping: Best Approaches and What Works for Policy Design” will bring together experts in evidence and policy to discuss best practice for evidence-informed decision making.

Read more: The UK's four-day working week pilot was a success – here's what should happen next

We’ll also be welcoming David Halpern, chief executive of the behavioural insights team at Nesta, to discuss how to gauge whether an approach that works in one place and time, will work in others, during a public, online event.

Unlocking potential in a crisis

On November 21, IPPO will launch its first evidence review of 2023 looking at how local authorities can accelerate policy change under pressure.

Over the last four months, IPPO and its partner RREAL have looked at the COVID-19 recovery plans developed by local authorities across the country.

During our launch event, the report’s authors will discuss key takeaways from their research, reveal what mechanisms help unlock and deliver progressive policies, and share in-depth case studies of the experiences of those involved in the design and implementation of recovery plans at the local authority level. You can sign up here.

For more information about IPPO, its events and upcoming work, please click here.

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