Philips, ST Look To Prioritise Healthcare In Europe

Philips and STMicroelectronics want to see Europe prioritise the implementation of healthcare technology.

Philips and STMicroelectronics want to see Europe prioritise the implementation of healthcare technology.

An aging population increasingly susceptible to the diseases of affluence like diabetes and hypertension, combined with declining numbers of healthcare practitioners, make automation of healthcare an urgent priority, says  Diego Olego, CTO Philips Healthcare.

This situation could be helped if the EU and European national and local governments spent more money on buying healthcare technology, says ST CEO Carlo Bozotti.

“The public authorities should contribute to market pull,” says Bozotti, “Europe used to account for 20% of semiconductor usage, now it’s 15% and declining. It would help if the public authorities moved faster in adopting healthcare technology.”

In Europe and the USA, the R&D money for medical electronics technology is going into the early diagnosis and prevention of disease and the integration of diagnosis with treatment.

There is also a shift towards personalised medicine where the focus has moved from the organ level to the cellular and molecular level allowing tailored treatments.

Europe has healthcare R&D programmes like HyperImage and Sublima which are pursuing the development of these technologies, but the companies which commercialise them need to be encouraged by more active public procurement policies.



  1. Oh that’s OK, Stooriefit, thanks for letting me know. At least the server put your comment up automatically which is what it should do. The US – Europe comparison is very revealing. Thank you.

  2. Sorry about that – the server seemed to think it hadn’t submitted!

  3. It is interesting that one of the areas the EU hasn’t made inroads is in providing for uniformity of the health market. It sounds strange but the US system of private provision, and the total chaos in terms of the level of care available to individuals on the basis of ability to pay, actually provides a great amount of uniformity in this respect.
    Healthcare costs are ballooning in the west and it isn’t all to do with the diseases of the rich, it also has a lot to do with the predatory practices of those who provide diagnostic and therapeutic technologies. They do their very best to catch each other out in terms of compliance with the FDA and other regulations, so their costs of compliance soar because they are paying armies of lawyers to police themselves and their competitors; they lavish inducements on providers to ensure their technologies are prescribed, so their costs of sales carry the costs of those inducements and the technologies they sell are not necessarily the best value; they lobby the regulators for regulations which best suit them and provide a barrier to entry for smaller players who might have better, cheeper, faster technology.
    It is the shear diversity in EU provision systems (excepting what is required to get your kit CE marked) which means these types of activity are not cost as cost effective to the big providers. Uniformity of public procurement would perversely have an upward rather than downward pressure on the cost of health care in the EU.

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