On July 1, 2021, Shez Partovi officially takes on the role of Chief Innovation & Strategy Officer at Philips. We asked him about what motivates him, why he decided to join Philips, and what he thinks about the future of the company and the future of healthcare. You can read his answers here or watch highlights of the interview in the accompanying video.
Tell us: who is Shez Partovi?
Well firstly, I’m a clinician. I trained as a physician at McGill University in Montreal and practiced as a neuroradiologist for a decade. So in my heart, I’m a clinician first. But I’ve also done a number of start-ups, so there's also an entrepreneur part of me. For four years I was Chief Digital Officer for a large health system, which taught me a lot about consumers and patients and how they want their experience to be. Then I joined Amazon Web Services as worldwide head of its healthcare and life-science activities, where I learned all about cloud technologies and how to accelerate transformation in companies using cloud services. Now I am delighted to join Philips as Chief Innovation & Strategy Officer, a company that focuses on health technology and is helping to elevate the human condition by improving 2.5 billion lives a year by 2030.
What energizes you the most in your professional life?
It’s focusing on patients, consumers, and customers. At the end of the day, all my clinical life has been about patient care. When I was Digital Officer for a healthcare system, it was about patients as consumers. At Amazon and here at Philips, it’s around customers, patients and consumers. What excites me is doing something entrepreneurial, something different that changes the status quo, that takes away friction and improves quality for patients and consumers, delivering a better experience for everyone.
What excites you about Philips and made you join the company?
Two things. Firstly, it's a 130-year-old company that decided to shift gears entirely from a holding company to one focused solely on healthcare. That's an incredible transformation and I want to be part of that story. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance. But that wasn't the only reason. Philips’ mission to improve the lives of 2.5 billion people a year and, of those, 300 million in underserved communities, was something that resonated with who I am and what I believe. Put those two reasons together and how could I say no?
What are the biggest challenges and unmet needs in healthcare that you want to address in your new role as Chief Innovation & Strategy Officer at Philips?
One of the biggest challenges and unmet needs I believe we can address at Philips is figuring out how to scale both access to healthcare and quality of healthcare at an affordable price. This is where we want to innovate on behalf of our customers. And we’ll do it by taking an entrepreneurial and collaborative approach – doubling down where things work, and moving on quickly when they don’t. For us, that’s the special place where we can create a new momentum that brings improved access and improved quality at an affordable price to healthcare throughout the world.
What are the most exciting trends that are currently driving innovation in healthcare?
One of the most exciting trends I’m seeing that's driving innovation in healthcare is an increasing focus on the experience. As individuals, we are at a point where our best experience anywhere is what we expect everywhere, and that means there’s a huge opportunity to innovate how we receive healthcare so the experience is superior. Now the innovation opportunities lie in going beyond minimum expectations to deliver healthcare in a way that's ideal for patients, consumers, clinicians, employees and staff. That's an opportunity and an area of tremendous excitement and development where Philips is focused on innovating on behalf of its customers.
How do you envision the future of healthcare?
When I think of the future of healthcare, I think of ‘your care, your way’. We are at a point where we all want to receive care the way we want to receive care, so there's going to be a proliferation of diverse access points, from texting to video, to retail and ambulatory care centers, in addition to hospital and post-acute care. So the future of healthcare is to diversify the points of entry. And behind each of those entry points there are going to be enabling technologies that take out the friction, that allow us to receive care in a seamless manner. That's where healthcare is going, this ‘your care, your way’ - simple, experiential, high quality, safe, and enabled by technology.
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