If we look at healthcare today, what are the main challenges that you as a physician and your hospital face - clinical but also maybe technological?
Dr Katzen: The regulatory environment has definitely changed. In the early years, physicians could to some extent deploy trial and error when developing procedures. Now it's all about evidence-based data. You have to have evidence proving that what you're doing is better and there is value to the patient. That's all very good, but it adds a significant amount of cost and time. I think we can do a much better job on that, but among the barriers to using new solutions in the clinical environment cost issues are becoming a significant factor. We are wringing cost out by being more efficient, but I think we've reached the limits of what value that can bring right now. It’s true that minimally-invasive therapy can now be done in less expensive, more convenient out-of-hospital settings as a way of reducing costs, but that environment itself doesn't necessarily support innovation because it's also very cost sensitive. The second big challenge we face is the environment that people now work in. The pandemic was very disruptive to the healthcare environment and the people that work in it. It has made the ability to recruit people into healthcare delivery, and stay in healthcare delivery, more challenging.
Bert van Meurs, how can Philips as a partner help with lowering the cost of healthcare and improving the staff experience so that people want to work in, and stay in, healthcare?
Bert van Meurs: I think Dr Katzen explained really well how the needs have changed, and at Philips we also try to articulate that in our strategy. Whereas in the past we focused a lot on image quality and clinical outcomes, today we focus on the Quadruple Aim which is still about outcomes but also about lower costs and the staff and patient experience. So it’s not only about the imaging modality itself, it's about the whole workflow of the procedure, and beyond that, how patients moving from diagnosis to treatment and back home can be done in more convenient and cost-effective settings. Data will play an important role there, which means Philips is rapidly transforming into an informatics player, where we use data, analyze data, and use AI algorithms to help optimize workflows, focusing on the entire care path rather than a single episode of treatment.
Looking ahead 20, maybe even to 50 years from now, what do you think it will be like for a patient treated at MCVI?
Dr Katzen: I think there will be a number of distinct movements over the next 20 years. One is the patient as the data source, for example, gathering real-time data using sensor technology and being able to manage that data in a remote way. From an MCVI perspective, it means we are going to be much more engaged in the ambulatory space, not just from a procedure point of view but from a continuity of care point of view. The patients themselves will be using that data, meaning they are going to become much more integrated and involved in their care. People will be living longer and therefore getting diseases they previously wouldn't have gotten, because previously they would have passed away earlier. So even though a significant amount of care is shifting to the ambulatory space, hospitals will continue to become places where more patients are treated, and sicker patients are treated. The level of acuity is going up.
Bert, would you like to respond to that and offer some final words?
Bert van Meurs: It's very difficult to imagine what it will be like 35 years from now. I'm very confident that we will still be very strong partners, and that over the next 35 years we'll be able to develop even more and better care solutions. I believe minimally-invasive surgery will be even more automated, more in ambulatory settings, and more efficient, but still be there because it offers such huge benefits to patients and the whole healthcare system. I also believe that 35 years from now we will be able to do procedures without using X-rays, for example, using smarter navigation technologies, intelligent devices, and robotics. It will allow us to go faster to a lesion and deliver more effective treatment, as well as providing better feedback during procedures so that the patient can go home earlier, stay at home, and be monitored remotely, making the whole process even more patient friendly. Another thing I am confident about is continuation of this fantastic partnership and collaboration with MCVI, which we are extremely grateful for. I am truly pleased to congratulate Dr Katzen and MCVI on their 35th anniversary and look forward to the next 35 years of collaboration.