Gone are the days when students or graduates accepted any kind of internship just to start off their career. The cliché of the intern fetching coffee or making copies from 9 to 5 belongs to a different era. Companies that are not able to provide engaging internship experiences, full of meaning and learning, will find it hard to hire interns in this day and age.
Generation Z brings with them shifting experiences and expectations, which is transforming the future of work. Companies which make the best use of this fresh wave of employees will be in a better position to build a talent pipeline equipped to drive sustainable success. The Cassandra Report notes that 89 percent of those born between 1998 and 2008 spend some of their free time pursuing creative and productive activities, developing skills in entrepreneurship, fundraising, design, videography or building apps. Naturally, these Generation Zers thrive on internships with engaging projects which encourage independent thinking and growth, and which give meaning and purpose to their work experience.
Five interns and graduates from around the world share the innovations they’re working on at Philips and ideas they are helping to bring to life.
Detecting serious health problems using wearable biosensors
Anahis Kecheijan, Graduate, Connected Sensing project, USA
As a mechanical engineer, Anahis worked on a prototype for the next generation Philips wearable biosensor. The device is designed to help with continuous monitoring of patients, enabling hospitals to track vital statistics and then use these data to detect early warning signs of serious health problems. This first stage prototype was used with new sensing modalities that measure additional critical vital signs. It aims to also enhance patient comfort, eliminating the need for fixed wires – potentially a first for many products in this field.
“During this project, I loved experimenting with new technologies which could increase patient comfort further. I had the opportunity to work with various stakeholders such as Research & Development to develop physical requirements and vendors to select materials and build the prototype. Although Philips is a large corporate company, the atmosphere felt more like a start-up, and it’s been exciting to see how we could add value to hospital care using IoT technology.”
Apoorva Chouhan, Intern, Blockchain project, India
In 2018, one-quarter of data breaches were in healthcare, while 80 percent of all serious medical errors involved miscommunication during the transition of patients to different care settings. Collaborating with developers and researchers globally, software engineer Apoorva explored possible solutions to tackle these challenges. She helped to create and develop a prototype application using Blockchain, enabling patients to control access to their personal health data by requiring doctors, specialists and researchers to request access. The app is intended to allow patients to manage all their data while keeping it more secure. This platform potentially revolutionize consent management and patient-centric information exchange through the benefits of Blockchain including transparency, auditability and immutability. With the improvements in security and data protection, providers and consumers of care could use the platform with more confidence, facilitating a better quality of services.
“The entire project has been a massive learning experience from the get-go. Contributing my strengths, expanding my skill set, problem-solving to achieve set goals, and finding inspiration from the guidance I received were all part of a normal day’s work. I believe data shared with consent is the new currency, and this project has been an effort to enable this for numerous healthcare applications. The possibilities in remote care, monitoring, clinical research, early diagnosis and interoperability between hospitals mean we might save thousands of lives.”
Tackling the modern day sleep challenge
Jose Diaz Mendoza, Intern, SmartSleep project, The Netherlands
The American Sleep Association estimates that 50-70 million adults in the US suffer from some sleep disorder. A study by independent research and consulting firm KJT Group showed that 57 percent of people admitted that sleeping better could be possible, but they had made no effort to help themselves. Working on the SmartSleep project, data science intern Jose helped to build deep learning AI models to understand how brain signals are modified by the tones triggered by the Philips SmartSleep wearable headband released last year. The headband accurately identifies the different sleep stages (REM, Light Sleep and Deep Sleep) and helps to improve the efficiency of the deep sleep cycle. By analyzing users’ EEG signals during sleep, soft white noise tones could be triggered under optimal conditions, further enhancing sleep quality.
“The thing that excites me about AI is the way it’s changing the paradigm to solve problems and the impressive results we’re getting when solving certain tasks. We are moving from a paradigm where we analysed problems and set rules to solve them, to one where we design a model which will automatically solve the problem once it’s fed with enough data. I’m quite interested in research that is focused on the learning process of AI models, merging other related disciplines like Computer Vision, Robotics or Natural Language Processing. I’ve really enjoyed the freedom of choosing how to focus and drive my research on such an exciting topic. My supervisors here have always been really supportive, helpful and open to discussing new ideas.”
Jose Diaz Mendoza
Creating efficient healthcare operations
Juul Rutten, Intern, Value-Based Care project, The Netherlands
Transforming the healthcare delivery system and the way it is being financed has gone from critical to essential. Healthcare systems are under extreme pressure due to population aging, an increasing incidence of multiple chronic diseases, alarmingly low rates of job satisfaction among physicians and rising costs. Juul supported an initiative to stimulate customer engagement and creating a risk-sharing agreement with a hospital. Under this agreement, the hospital and Philips agree to link payment for medical products or services to selected key performance indicators (KPIs) rather than the volume of products used. Within this project, Juul focused on the identification and the evaluation of these KPIs that reflect the impact of Philips products and services. The value-based model focuses on a long-term partnership, which helps providers manage clinical, operational and financial challenges resulting in better quality patient care at a lower cost.
“I think value-based payments models are an attractive prospect for hospitals as it aligns the incentives of all stakeholders involved. A highlight of this project was the international aspect. It was very nice to collaborate with a lot of people from different disciplines and businesses. The support for my personal development has been especially great because I got a lot of responsibility and mentoring from my team.”
Saving lives through cardiac education
Raul Landers, Intern, Connected Pulse Program project, UAE
Almost one-third of all deaths worldwide are attributed to cardiovascular disease, and with Sudden Cardiac Arrest survival rates as low as five percent, swift treatment of patients in cardiac arrest can save lives. Marketing intern Raul is part of the joint initiative between Philips and the American Heart Association, the Connected Pulse Program, which seeks to reduce preventable deaths among Sudden Cardiac Arrest victims. The program helps to train the public in CPR and the use of publicly accessible AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) strengthening the chain of survival from the moment of cardiac arrest to the time a patient reaches the hospital.
“In my role, I represented and promoted the Connected Pulse Program at four major events in the Middle East, creating awareness and identifying potential leads. I’m especially proud of strategizing, planning and coordinating a successful Guinness World Record attempt in Dubai, helping to train 104 nationalities in CPR and AED techniques as part of a CPR relay. I would never have had this experience elsewhere. I really felt that I helped to educate people about CPR and AED systems, so they are prepared to take the necessary action to help save a life.”
With a diverse range of projects featuring dynamic applications of technology, Philips is providing an exciting and empowering workspace to develop meaningful solutions that will help shape the face of modern healthcare. A new generation of professionals shaped by progress in technology and a highly digital environment is bringing an unprecedented level of skills to the workforce. In embracing our vision to make the world healthier and more sustainable through innovation, these digital natives have unlimited possibilities to contribute and revolutionize the future of healthcare.
Philips is a world leading health technology company with a vision to make life better for people worldwide through meaningful innovation. Making good on this promise depends on our inclusive, passionate, inspirational, collaborative and diverse team.