By Yemisi Suleiman
George Uduku is the Development Manager at Philips Healthcare West Africa, a position laden with the task of looking for opportunities to creating new value propositions for existing and new customers for Philips Africa, a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health.
A line of work which recently introduced to the Nigerian market a systemic ultrasound technology as Philips Africa recently launched Lumify, a new mobile, app-based approach to ultrasound delivery that brings secure cloud-enabled technology and high-image quality to broader network of healthcare providers.
The first App-Based ultrasound system that will extend the reach of ultrasound applications to a broader network of healthcare providers, using mobile technology was unveiled during Medic West Africa 2018 Lagos. For Dr. Uduku, the idea behind the Lumify, he says is creating an entirely new way of delivering ultrasound technology to healthcare providers and their patients, while offering high-quality imaging on a compatible smart device through a subscription model.
The Medical Doctor with a wealth of experience in Sales Management, Channel Management, Business Development and Business Management, tells us more.
In your words, what exactly does the birth of Lumify mean to you?
The Lumify is the world’s first real app based ultrasound system. It is a massive technological breakthrough which ushers in a new era in terms of where, when and how ultrasound technology is used.
What measures is your company putting in place to ensure that the product is not been replicated?
In today’s business environment, technology is advancing at a rapid pace. For companies to survive, they must keep pace with rapid change. At Philips, we are focused on continuously improving our technologies to ensure that our customers can count on a superior value proposition from Philips at all times, compared to competition.
What is the best thing about the Lumify?
What I find most fascinating about the Lumify is the miniaturization of the traditional cart-based ultrasound system which we have all become quite familiar with. The Lumify is an ultra-portable ultrasound system with outstanding image quality and a versatile and user-friendly interface. The Lumify also provides an amazing level of flexibility never before seen- it can be used on any Android based mobile phone or tablet of any size.
It derives its power from the phone/ tablet’s USB port and needs no independent power source. Furthermore, coupled with the ‘REACT’ software, Philips has also been able to develop the world’s first true tele-ultrasound system which means that with adequate training, the Lumify can be used effectively by low cost, low skilled personnel in resource-constrained environments, thus enabling task shifting and improved access to care in remote locations.
What does your job entail as Development Manager at Philips Healthcare West Africa?
Simply put, at Philips I lead a commercial team that is focused on looking for opportunities to create new value propositions for our existing and new customers, sometimes going beyond our core business. This requires frequent interaction with our customers, a deep understanding of even latent needs and collaboration with multiple external partners to co-create solutions.
How do you identify a new market to enter, and in the case of Lumify, how and when did you see the need to launch in Nigeria?
The Lumify was designed for caregivers who need to respond quickly to patients in need of urgent care who may or may not be able to access a hospital, and to do so without any compromise to image quality at the point of care. Examples of this category of caregivers include emergency workers, sports physicians, mobile clinics, community health workers, e.t.c.
We see caregivers in these situations all over world, including Nigeria who grapple with numerous challenges e.g. machine mobility, image quality and power requirements in remote locations. Philips developed the Lumify in response to these recognized gaps in functionality of existing ultrasound systems in point of care environments.
Do you see the Lumify replacing the normal scan machines in future?
At the moment, the Lumify is a complementary system with applications most suitable for point-of-care environments. That said, there are of course boundless possibilities as to how this technology will develop. We just have to wait and see.
What motivates you at work?
I work in full consciousness of the fact that we improve millions of lives everyday with very innovative products like the Lumify
When you not working, how do you take time off to relax?
I’m an avid Manchester United fan. I also play the piano, and I love jazz.