THE ROLE OF CIO IN CRE­AT­ING A DIG­I­TAL HEALTH­CARE ECOSYS­TEM

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Alpna brings in over twenty-five years of ex­pe­ri­ence in senior ex­ec­u­tive roles in busi­ness and IT with var­i­ous tech­nol­ogy and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pa­nies such as Reliance Group, Mahin­dra Satyam, Deloitte, Ver­i­zon, and Tel­cor­dia Tech­nolo­gies. In March 2016, when she joined Philips, it was her first foray into the global health­care/ healthtech in­dus­try, an in­dus­try ripe for dig­i­tal in­no­va­tion. A year later, she is firmly in the groove and is an in­stru­men­tal player in the ‘dig­i­tal­iza­tion’ jour­ney at Philips. Alpna is highly driven to im­prove so­ci­ety at large through tech­nol­ogy, in­no­va­tion and the busi­ness ar­eas of healthtech. As the Global CIO at Philips, Alpna Doshi over­sees IT strate­gic di­rec­tion and ex­e­cu­tion, fo­cused on busi­ness trans­for­ma­tion to make Philips the global leader in health­care sys­tems and con­sumer healthtech

Key points from a con­ver­sa­tion with Alpna Doshi:

Sim­pli­fi­ca­tion: As the global CIO, the key job is to make sure to keep the com­pany live and run­ning. But there’s lot more to be done at a com­pany with the scale and com­plex­ity of Philips— ad­dress­ing 17 mar­kets glob­ally, prod­ucts and so­lu­tions across var­i­ous spe­cial­ties, and con­sumer health de­vices. Sim­pli­fi­ca­tion of IT in­fra­struc­ture and ar­chi­tec­ture is there­fore a key man­date at one level.

Har­mo­niza­tion: At another level, the drive to­wards sim­pli­fi­ca­tion in­volves us­ing tech­nol­ogy it­self to har­mo­nize busi­ness pro­cesses in ar­eas such as sup­ply chain, pro­cure­ment, mar­ket­ing, sales, and or­der man­age­ment amongst oth­ers. The end goal of sim­pli­fi­ca­tion is to con­nect the dots be­tween idea to cash by ac­cel­er­at­ing the un­der­ly­ing pro­cesses that in­volve idea to mar­ket, mar­ket to or­der, and or­der to cash.

Philips Vi­sion for 2025: Alpna con­nects this to the com­pany’s over­ar­ch­ing goal of be­ing a health tech­nol­ogy com­pany that wants to touch three bil­lion lives by 2025. Philips looks at the mar­ket from two ends and the strat­egy to achieve this goal:

Health­care Sys­tems: With health­care sys­tems around the world un­der in­creas­ing pres­sure, we de­liver in­no­va­tive, in­te­gral tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions that are de­signed to im­prove the qual­ity and delivery of care while low­er­ing cost.

Per­sonal Health: We are play­ing a key role in this con­sumer­iza­tion of health­care, ex­pand­ing our of­fer­ing to help con­sumers make health­ier choices every day.

Rules of Dig­i­tal­iza­tion: Dig­i­tal­iza­tion is cen­tral to the strat­egy of achiev­ing this goal. “Across our port­fo­lio, our busi­nesses demon­strate their in­no­va­tive ca­pa­bil­ity by trans­lat­ing cus­tomer and end-user in­sights into mean­ing­ful tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions and ser­vices that im­prove the qual­ity of peo­ple’s lives.” B2B and B2C are mar­ket modes that must be si­mul­ta­ne­ously pur­sued. “There­fore, in­no­vat­ing at the tail end is not enough, we have to work on the back­bone also. There is no point in do­ing this in a siloed man­ner. Hence, con­nec­tiv­ity is im­por­tant.”

De­sign Prin­ci­ples: Alpna and her team are there­fore mov­ing ahead with a struc­tured roadmap start­ing with the cus­tomer and then loop­ing back to the cus­tomer. This would in­volve cre­at­ing a health­care ecosys­tem that would al­low for ubiq­ui­tous edge de­vices. Hos­pi­tals still have a lot of in­ter­nal le­ga­cies that they must over­come for them to be able to con­nect to the dig­i­tal ecosys­tem. It in­volves in­ter­con­nect­ing var­i­ous health tech plat­forms and so­lu­tions to cre­ate a health sys­tems dig­i­tal plat­form to pro­vide com­pre­hen­sive care to the pa­tient. Cloud, big data, an­a­lyt­ics, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, and oth­ers serve at the back­end to en­able pa­tient mon­i­tor­ing, ul­tra­sound, pa­tient care, and many oth­ers at the front-end. Alpna’s busi­ness coun­ter­parts drive ap­plied IT across var­i­ous dis­ci­plines to in­no­vate in var­i­ous ar­eas of health tech­nol­ogy.

IT Pri­or­i­ties: On the IT front, Alpna talks about the or­ga­ni­za­tion-wide ini­tia­tives to move data cen­ters to the cloud with the dual aim of re­duc­ing to­tal cost of op­er­a­tions and to de­com­mis­sion legacy ap­pli­ca­tions. The mod­ern­iza­tion of IT sys­tems and ar­chi­tec­ture is ac­com­pa­nied var­i­ous ini­tia­tives in data and an­a­lyt­ics. Master Data Man­age­ment (MDM) is a big fo­cus area this year at Philips.

Non-ne­go­tiable: Even as the Philips global IT or­ga­ni­za­tion and busi­ness units are on the path to cre­at­ing a dig­i­tal health­care ecosys­tem and pro­vide con­sumer healthtech, there are as­pects that are non-ne­go­tiable and they de­mand the CIO’s at­ten­tion: in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity and data pro­tec­tion, com­pli­ance, and gov­er­nance. Alpna is to­tally clued into th­ese as­pects. Bor­row­ing the lingo from the tele­com in­dus­try where Alpna spent a good part of her ca­reer, she says, “Th­ese are the ar­eas where the pack­ets sim­ply can­not drop.”

Alpna J. Doshi, Global CIO, Philips N.V.

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