At interesting locations, top technology companies will give a behind the scenes glimpse into their organizations. As a gateway to Dutch Design Week, the Discovery Route will bring you to all the high-tech hotspots in the region. For young and old, professionals and tech-fans, this day will be full of surprising discoveries for everyone. There will be so much to see, to do, to experience. It’s a day when you, as a visitor, will experience that you live and work in a high-tech country to be proud of. In a series of articles, E52 takes a look at the DTW high-tech hotspots. Today, medical high-tech at the Philips Innovation Center in Eindhoven North.

 

In Best, Philips makes medical scanners – which allow doctors to find out what’s wrong with you faster and more efficiently – and develops systems that allow doctors, via extremely precise images, to replace a heart valve or treat a tumour locally. Philips is the worldwide market leader in these scanners and image-driven medical treatment systems, also known as “Image Guided Therapy”. Normally, it is a closed campus, but on 20 May Philips in Best will open its doors and you literally get a behind the scenes look at everything: the development departments, the factories, the visitors center, and also the wellness center for employees.

 

There are more than 3200 employees in Best, half of whom work in R&D, with the remainder working in, among other areas, manufacturing and sales. “The campus has recently come under the umbrella of the Philips Innovation Center Eindhoven”, says Bert van Meurs. He is the chairperson of this innovative center. It includes Philips Research and Design, which is located at the High Tech Campus (HTC). Around 4000 Philips employees work at the HTC, of which more than half are in R&D.

A year ago, Philips made the decision to focus entirely on health technology. “We are working on improving people’s lives by utilizing meaningful, advanced innovations. We do that preventively with products for the consumer, but also in diagnosing and treating patients. The latter is less visible in daily life, but we certainly experience it if we need to go to hospital.”

“We are working on improving people’s lives by utilizing meaningful, advanced innovations.”Bert van Meurs, Philips Innovation Center Eindhoven

 

On 20 May, there will be, among other things, demonstrations of the scanners which can make an image of every part of the human body. These accurate images in combination with software make it possible to discover a variety of different tissues in the body, through which a doctor can make a better and faster diagnosis. That ultimately means better care and treatment for a patient who can then go home earlier and doesn’t need to come back so quickly.”

 

“We are also the market leader in ‘minimal invasive therapy’ which is used in and angioplasty or cardiac catheterization. Where previously a patient had to undergo bypass surgery or replace a heart valve with open heart surgery, a surgeon can now get to the part of the body that needs treatment via very accurate imaging technology with minimal intervention. This allows surgeons to open blood vessels, replace heart valves, treat strokes and even treat tumours locally”, says Van Meurs. “By using these Philips-systems, a patient is currently being treated worldwide every second.”

 

“Hidden Gem”
“It is sometimes a strange sensation that the average Dutch person can hardly imagine exactly what our scanners can now do and what kind of advanced technology is behind them”, says John van Soerland, location manager of Philips Innovation Center Eindhoven in Best. “They often know what an MRI scanner looks like. But that the technology behind it is made in Best, that they don’t know. It is a hidden gem. We are not only the market leader in this area, but also by far one of the largest employers in the region. Ask one of the surrounding areas what exactly is going on in Best, and very few people would be able to give an exact answer.”

 

According to Van Meurs, that is partly due to the market that Philips in active in: professional healthcare. “The general public knows the Philips of the past, especially as a consumer brand for lamps, shavers, and irons. Consumers are less familiar with the professional industry. That is changing. Patients become consumers of care, they become more outspoken, and they also know much more these days about what they can get. Also, care is more personal, and is more oriented towards healthy living and prevention. For that, Philips has developed products such as the Airfryer and Sonicare.”

 

“Normally the doors are closed, but on 20 May you can visit our campus and see for yourself all amazing things have been developed in this ‘hidden gem’ and what amazing, unique innovations continue to be developed today”, exclaims Van Soerland.

 

The name ‘hidden gem’ comes from the book by Bert Tip, director of Campus Services in Best, which he compiled in his spare time. He mapped the Best location with images. This edition, entitled “Philips Best, from hidden gem to crown jewel – Enterprise with passion for medical innovation” will be available at the Open Day.

Visit these hotspots on 20 May between 11:00 and 17:00: De Ontdekfabriek and Strjip-S (Eindhoven), Philips Innovation Center North (Best), High Tech Helmond – De Peel (Location HVL – MCM in Liessel/Duerne), High Tech Campus Eindhoven, and Kempen Tech (Hapert).

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About the author

Corine Spaans is a writer. She is particularly interested in the stories of the people behind the innovations and has a passion for sport (innovation).