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[Herald Interview] ‘Philips has same DNA as Korea in innovation’

Starting with pregnancy apps, Dutch electronics giant prepares new health care solutions for Korea

LAS VEGAS -- Roy Jakobs, head of the personal health business of Royal Philips, believes today’s innovation is not just about individual products.

Innovation involves building a new ecosystem and gaining the trust of consumers, and he believes South Korea is on the same page as the Amsterdam-based electronics maker. 


Roy Jakobs, head of personal heath business of Royal Philips, poses at Philips‘ booth at CES 2020 in Las Vegas on Wednesday. (Photo by Song Su-hyun /The Korea Herald)
Roy Jakobs, head of personal heath business of Royal Philips, poses at Philips‘ booth at CES 2020 in Las Vegas on Wednesday. (Photo by Song Su-hyun /The Korea Herald)

“In terms of high standards required for innovation, Philips has the same DNA as Korea,” Jakobs said in an interview with The Korea Herald during the Consumer Electronics Show 2020 in Las Vegas last week.

Koreans are already familiar with the Dutch firm with its electronic tooth-brushing and shaving products.

This year, the Philips executive wants to introduce free mobile application services for pregnant women in Seoul as part of the company’s efforts to further build trust in Korea.

For this, Philips is planning to launch two apps Pregnancy+ and Baby+ for pregnant women and mothers of newborn babies.

“Apps are perfect for consumer engagement and building trust,” he said. “Pregnant women are the most mobile population and active users of social network services to get answers to their queries.”


Roy Jakobs, head of personal heath business of Royal Philips, poses at Philips‘ booth at CES 2020 in Las Vegas on Wednesday. (Photo by Song Su-hyun /The Korea Herald)
Roy Jakobs, head of personal heath business of Royal Philips, poses at Philips‘ booth at CES 2020 in Las Vegas on Wednesday. (Photo by Song Su-hyun /The Korea Herald)

“They need relevant and qualified content related to their health, but they don’t know whether some of the online contents are clinically validated,” he explained.

The Pregnancy+ app follows the details of a baby’s growth for 40 weeks, providing 40 animated 3D baby models, including heartbeat sound effect, along with information related to the baby’s weekly development. The Baby+ app helps novice moms easily keep track of physical developments after birth.

To provide moms with medically validated information and knowledge, Philips co-developed contents for the Pregnancy+ app with experts including gynecologists in various regions in order to localize by country planned for the app’s launch.

“Considering that Korean consumers are more demanding, tech-savvy and want innovation, we have high expectations from the app launch,” Jokobs said. “We want Koreans to think of innovative solutions instead of individual products.”

The executive hopes to bring more innovative health care-focused solutions to Korea in the near future, including the second edition of SmartSleep Headband that was touted at CES 2020 and an air mask equipped with a purification engine that is scheduled for launch in China soon.

By Song Su-hyun (song@heraldcorp.com)
Korea Herald correspondent
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