Philips plans to make Finland hospital one of the smartest

  • April 12, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Dutch technology giant Philips hopes to turn Oulu University Hospital in Finland into one of the smartest hospitals in the world following the signing of a ten-year partnership.

The agreement will support the hospital’s OYS 2030 renewal programme that aims to transform the operations and facilities to meet the challenges of future specialised care for the approximately 750,000 inhabitants of northern Finland.

Philips is providing its latest image-guided therapy technology to transform the diagnosis and treatment of patients, as well as maintenance, consultancy and financing services.

The agreement will also act as an enabler for collaboration between the hospital and a Philips consultancy team specialised in providing services to drive healthcare transformation. Working closely with Oulu University Hospital, this team will identify unmet needs and help map out the way forward to increase the benefits of the partnership and associated clinical research collaborations.

Together, the organisations plan to drive efficiencies and innovations aimed at helping the hospital deliver on the quadruple aim of better health outcomes, increased efficiency, and improved patient and staff experiences.

As part of the first phase of the agreement, Philips will deliver eleven interventional suites to support the hospital’s interventional cardiology and radiology departments. They will all be equipped with Philips’ Azurion with FlexArm image-guided therapy system to improve efficiency, workflow and treatment outcomes, while delivering a unique patient and staff experience.

Azurion, together with other integrated live 3D visualisation and device guidance products from Philips, supports a range of minimally-invasive procedures, ranging from cardiac and vascular to acute neuro and oncology treatments.

“It’s our aim to build the smartest hospital in the world, capable of meeting the challenges of future specialised care and ensuring the best-possible treatments for the people we serve in northern Finland,” said Kari Ylitalo, head of the heart centre of Oulu University Hospital. “We believe this long-term partnership with Philips, which provides us with the latest health technology innovations and services, helps us to meet this commitment.”

Mikko Vasama, general manager for Philips in the Nordics, added: “Through our long-term strategic partnership with Oulu University Hospital, and as an accountable business partner, we can optimally help them realise their vision of the future of healthcare. Using our expertise in cardiovascular care, our goal is to help clinicians treat their patients better by innovating existing image-guided therapy procedures and making entirely new ones possible. As a result of this agreement, Oulu University Hospital’s physicians will be able to provide their patients with the most advanced innovations for the treatment of cardiac and vascular disease.”

Examples of interventions that will take place in the interventional cardiology and radiology suites include catheter-based cardiac and vascular procedures to open clogged peripheral or coronary arteries, place cardiac implantable electronic devices, and treat cardiac arrythmias, as well as acute neuro interventions – for example, treatment for stroke – and procedures to treat cancer.

For very complex procedures such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR), or combination therapies where open and minimally-invasive surgery may both be involved, a Philips Hybrid OR-Azurion will also be installed. This integrates a surgical operating room and Azurion into a sterile setting for increased flexibility.

To support multiple procedure types, the hospital’s interventional suites will be equipped with Philips’ IntraSight interventional applications platform, a secure, integrated application-based platform that provides a suite of clinically proven physiology, imaging and co-registration tools for image-guided procedures across the interventional lab workflow.

It includes support for IVUS (intravascular ultrasound) catheters capable of imaging the interior of blood vessels, and pressure wires that can perform haemodynamic impact measurements such as FFR (fractional flow reserve) or iFR (instant wave free ratio).

Other suites will be equipped with Philips’ interventional haemodynamic system, which enables integration with the firm’s IntelliVue X3 portable patient monitor to record continuous measurements such as ECG, blood pressure, oxygen saturation and respiration rate before, during and after image-guided procedures.

Philips has a suite of products for the diagnosis and minimally-invasive treatment of structural heart and peripheral vascular disease, which aim to remove the barriers associated with complex procedures by helping deliver clinical confidence at the point of treatment. These can help strengthen clinical confidence, build efficiency throughout the care pathway and enhance the care experience for patients and staff.

The ten-year partnership agreement also includes an optional ten-year extension.