Philips taps Orbita to develop conversational chatbot applications to complement its telehealth solutions

The partnership aims to create AI-based virtual assistants with the human touch needed for effective remote patient engagement.

Philips taps Orbita to develop conversational chatbot applications to complement its telehealth solutions

Royal Philips and Orbita announced a partnership agreement to co-create next-generation conversational virtual assistants for Philips’ consumer health and patient support applications. The joint development agreement will see Orbita’s technology rolled out to digital health applications that enhance the patient experience and increase efficiency throughout the health continuum.

Why does it matter?

Orbita provides healthcare, life-science, and medical technology organizations with HIPAA-compliant chatbots and voice assistants for “digital front door” applications, remote and in-facility patient support, pre- and post-visit outreach, and other healthcare applications. Its conversational platform allows developers and non-technical staff to quickly build and easily manage cloud-based virtual assistants that are seamlessly deployable to smart speakers, web and mobile chat apps, short message service (SMS) and interactive voice response (IVR) services, as well as custom devices.

Philips believes that AI has the potential to improve people’s lives across the health continuum – from healthy living and prevention to diagnosis, treatment, and home care – provided it is applied with a deep understanding of people’s lives, and the clinical and operational context in which healthcare providers operate. Its partnership with Orbita, a company that has a proven track record of successfully applying AI-enabled conversational virtual assistants in healthcare applications, is part of Philips’ overall strategy to leverage cutting-edge AI wherever it can help deliver on the Quadruple Aim of healthcare. Examples where Philips is already using AI can be found in its personal health, diagnosis and treatment, and connected care offerings. Examples of Orbita’s solutions include patient acquisition and engagement portals, virtual bedside assistants, and virtual care continuity assistants.

On the record

“With the acceleration in the adoption of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic, AI-enabled voice services, virtual assistants and chatbots are already playing an enabling role in driving 24/7 access to healthcare, enhancing patient engagement, and improving clinical efficiency,” said Henk van Houten, Chief Technology Officer and Head of Philips Research. “Orbita is a not only a leader and innovator in voice and chat-powered virtual assistants that deliver the human touch needed in healthcare, but also a company that can keep up with the rapid pace of telehealth innovation that Philips is determined to pursue.”

“We are extremely excited to be expanding our partnership with Philips, one of the largest and most innovative digital health technology companies in the world,” said Nathan Treloar, President and Chief Operating Officer at Orbita. “Philips’ presence in the industry means they are at the forefront of healthcare’s most demanding challenges, where the greatest opportunities exist to apply the unique capabilities of Orbita’s products and solutions.”

The context

Philips owns a minority interest in Orbita through its Health Technology Venture Fund since May of 2020. Philips Health Technology Ventures manages a business-agnostic digital health fund that invests in, and partners with, promising healthcare informatics and health technology start-up companies to accelerate their growth and extend their reach. Active partnerships, such as the one announced today with Orbita, are an essential part of Philips’ goal to develop integrated solutions that enable healthcare providers to deliver on the Quadruple Aim – better health outcomes, better patient and staff experiences, and lower cost of care.