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Healthworks is Philips’ first global collaboration program for startups focused on artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare. The 12-week program gives 19 AI startups access to Philips’ expertise in health technology and the ecosystem of the company’s knowledge partners. Philips’ innovation centres in Eindhoven (High Tech Campus) Cambridge (USA), Bangalore (India) and Shanghai (China) will participate in the program.

During the intensive 12-week ‘AI in Healthcare for Radiology, Ultrasound and Oncology’ program, Philips will work with the 19 early-stage startups from 14 different countries to validate, help build, test, scale up where possible and eventually explore possible collaborations. The selected starters will have access to expertise in the company’s innovation ecosystem, which includes hospital, academic, industrial and financial partners.

Benno Tieke, Head of Portfolio Management bij Philips HealthWorks
Benno Tieke, Head of Portfolio Management bij Philips HealthWorks

“Philips HealthWorks offers programs worldwide that focus on the collaboration with startups. The goal is to develop a detailed collaboration. That is unique,” says Benno Tieke, Head of Portfolio Management at Philips HealthWorks. “The focus in this program is on collaboration. In exceptional cases, the collaboration can lead to an investment, but this is not the primary goal for Philips nor for the startups.

Open innovation

“We help the startups with expertise, coaching and give them access to our healthcare ecosystem; there are no other Healthcare Corporates that do this,” says Tieke. “The program is done in the spirit of open innovation, so we also bring the startups into contact with other important partners, such as customers, investors, and experts from Philips and beyond. For example, we organise intensive sessions with academic hospitals.”

At the end of September, Philips started with the ‘Immersion Weeks’ at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven. Tieke: “We will complete the programme on Wednesday 12 December. We do this with a large event in the Evoluon, the ‘Breakthrough Day’. Here too, the theme ‘the impact of AI on healthcare’ is central. Some of the startups will present their AI solutions in the areas of Radiology, Ultrasound, and Oncology.” Philips is a health technology company that wants to improve the lives of three billion people through meaningful innovation, says Tieke. “We focus on the so-called ‘quadruple aim’: better care outcomes, improved experiences for both patient and care professionals, and lower costs. AI plays an extremely important role in this.”

Philips has four innovation hubs worldwide. Eindhoven is the largest. The four hubs work together across borders. The 19 startups selected for HealthWorks come from all over the world: the United States, China, India, Australia, Israel, South Korea and various European countries.