Elderly care: Mrs. Janssen is more than a patient

1 March 2021

A circle is not complete until you close it. That is my motto and the story of my life at the same time. But this story is mainly about Mrs. Janssen, a lady with a chronic condition that needs care. That's a given, not something that defines her. Because Mrs. Janssen is more than a patient: she is also a mother, wife, grandmother, nature lover, friend. For me, the circle is complete if I can contribute to her being a patient in the last place. And that is coming.

As a child I wanted to be a surgeon. Until I turned out to have a congenital back defect for which I was operated on several times when I was fourteen. During that period I developed a great respect for the healthcare professional and at the same time discovered that this profession was not for me. So it didn't become a medicine study for me, but physics in Eindhoven.

In the end I ended up where I wanted to be: in innovation in healthcare. In the 25 years that I was involved with this at Philips, it became clear time and again that the knowledge to arrive at solutions often lies with different actors who do not speak each other's language. Not even if those actors are different specialists within one healthcare institution. The trick is to bring that fragmented knowledge and data together. That is where the opportunities lie to create something new with impact.

In America I was put in charge of Philips Home Monitoring, where we monitored almost a million people remotely via digital home care. There I learned a lot about and from Mrs. Janssen. A woman who is in the middle of life. Who does not want to be held back from the things that make her life worth living by a limitation, or the fear of falling. And who, like me with my back, does not want to feel like a patient.

I am still convinced that the services around Ms Janssen and all care providers around her can be further improved. And that is what we are now doing with smartQare: making sure that Mrs. Janssen can leave the house with peace of mind. That she feels safe and secure and can continue to do what she wants independently. That she can continue to participate, with peace of mind for herself and for her children.

Everyone talks about chain care, only a few take the initiative. We certainly do. SmartQare is working on an innovation that closes the circle of care around Mrs Janssen, who continuously monitors her health based on various data. The aim is to improve quality of life. And with a lot of by-catch, such as more affordable, efficient, planable care. More on that later.

Our approach – from the team, our partners and investors – comes from the heart. We develop something unique, and that is a special journey for everyone involved. When smartQare came my way, it was for me personally as if the circle was closing. I now have the feeling that I can realize a dream, a dream that I share with many (other) carers, care professionals, but especially with all 'Mrs Janssen'.

Would you like to know more? Keep following Mrs. Janssen.