Philips Healthcare, India plans to introduce products and solutions to meet the rising demand for primary and secondary healthcare services in smaller towns. The company also plans to expand its marketing network through direct sales force and distributor network and strengthen its servicing facilities in Tier II and III towns.
According to Rekha Ranganathan, senior director and chief marketing strategy officer, Philips Healthcare, the expansion of major hospital networks like Apollo and Fortis in these towns is pushing the demand for products that help improve access to healthcare. “We are looking at hospitals expanding into different Tier II and III cities where bed sizes are 50-200 to cater to the local population. We are targeting developing areas and offering affordable equipment for them that enable more patient throughput,” told Ranganathan.
Philips Healthcare has been growing at 30 per cent year-on-year. The focus on Tier II and III towns will help the company boost its growth rate further. “By providing equipments at affordable prices we can ensure hospitals buy more machines. More equipment means more people diagnosed so greater access to healthcare,” she said.
Philips Healthcare has set up a research and development centre in Bangalore and has also put up a manufacturing unit at Chakan near Pune. Low operating costs, energy-efficiency, easy serviceability and support for high patient volumes, are critical to increasing healthcare access in India, she pointed out. The shortage of specialist physicians in smaller towns necessitates the need for hub-and-spoke technology models. Such technology can enable smaller health centres and hospitals to feed their data into Tier II and III cities, which can in turn pass it on to hospitals in metro cities.