The consumer electronics company Philips has signed a five year research alliance with MIT, pumping $25 million into healthcare technology and connected lighting research, and moving the company’s research headquarters to Cambridge, according to an announcement from the company released this afternoon.
Philips representatives say their focus this year has been on pushing the company toward innovation. This new alliance fits closely with their plan, allowing the company to pursue partnerships with some of the country’s top researchers and encouraging new collaborations within the Boston innovation community.
As part of this alliance, Philips will be moving their North American headquarters to Kendall Square. The innovation facility, located at Two Canal Park, Cambridge, will open in September 2015.
Goals for this alliance include focused research on improving cardiovascular disease management and diagnosis, improvements in cancer treatments, and efforts toward improving patient outcomes while reducing costs.
“Some of the things we are looking at is how the range of applications of ultrasound can be broadened dramatically, to become part of the standard tool kit of primary care physicians, and even be used as a continuous monitoring modality,” says Henk van Houten, Global Head of Philips Research. “For example, looking at a woman who has had a C-section and having her use an ultrasound device that looks for internal bleeding and can flag that there is an issue so she can go get care before the situations escalates. In addition, ultrasound can be used to image the heart, and to help navigate catheters during complex cardiac procedures, such as valve replacement or atrial fibrillation treatment.”
Philips’ alliance with MIT will also provide the company access to some of the nation’s top healthcare experts, as well as to top notch imaging, informatics and data analytics services. van Houten also says that the two organizations have agreed upon a mid-term review to realign themselves with working toward key – and tangible – results that directly benefit consumers.
Why Boston? “The Boston area is rich with innovative talent that is regularly applying new thinking to solving big societal issues and developing disruptive technologies that can address those issues in new ways; it’s a culture and vision that is very much in line with that of Philips,” van Houten says. “By moving to Cambridge and collaborating with MIT, its staff and its partners, Philips can work with some of the best minds in the world on healthcare delivery, looking at ways to better prevent, manage or treat common diseases across the health continuum.”
“Kendall Square is a vibrant innovation ecosystem, and I am thrilled that Philips will further enhance the diversity of commercial market segments located adjacent to campus,” MIT Associate Provost Karen Gleason said in a statement. “Working in close proximity, the Institute’s researchers and experts at Philips will endeavor to develop new digital and health technologies that address key challenges in wellness and urban living.”
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