Bijdragen aan gezondheid van mensen
"A few years back I was at customs in the United States," Robin starts off his story about why he is still working at Philips after ten years. "You know the situation, you are asked all kinds of questions to check if you are allowed to enter the country. I explained to the customs officer that I had to be in the US to work at Philips on a new technology for heart catheterizations. His penetrating gaze turned completely, and gratitude radiated from his face. It turned out that his father had just been treated for a heart condition with such technology. I'll never forget that. You're really contributing to the health of people all over the world."
For Johan, this aspect plays a role just as important. On the hardware side of innovation, he can indulge his passion for mechatronics. "I have been working within Philips since 1994 and really stood at the cradle of mechatronics in the Eindhoven region. And still enjoy doing this every day, because I know what we contribute to healthcare."
Robin and Johan have both been working on product innovations for years. From the new Azurion FlexArm to the position detection of a biopsy needle with cameras; they are involved. Robin, as principal architect, focuses on the software; Johan takes care of the hardware.
Robin, Johan, let's take the example of the Azurion FlexArm, surely one of the most appealing innovations of recent years. How did the idea for it come to life?
"The idea for Azurion FlexArm came from our plan to update the old Allura Xper tripod. We were working on a custom c-arm with several improvements for the physician, such as an internal cable run and the ability to treat obese patients as well. Our development colleagues also pointed out the added value of an extra pivot point in the suspension of the c-arm. We immediately saw the great potential of this: more flexible intervention and performing multiple procedures in one room. Together with the customers, we optimized this solution. This is actually how the first prototype of the Azurion FlexArm was created. And now it is part of a solution that is helping millions of people around the world move forward."
So actually, a good idea alone is not enough. How do you come up with an innovation that really adds value, like the Azurion FlexArm?
"We have hundreds of ideas in our innovation team, of course, but we can't implement everything. That's why it's important to have a good idea of the potential of an idea. You can only spend your money once. Therefore, you have to work out a lot of details and make sure your story is complete. That seems difficult, and it is, but because we have a multidisciplinary team, we can quickly oversee all aspects of an idea. We work together with people from research, clinical science, development, marketing and, of course, our clients. That way we can quickly separate the wheat from the chaff and arrive at an innovation that really adds value."