Philips, Singapore to jointly invest in population health management companies targeting Asia

Royal Philips ($PHG) and EDBI, the corporate investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board, have agreed to jointly invest in digital health companies that are working on population health management tools for the Asian market. The idea is to use Singapore as a launch point from which to reach further into Asia.

The partners plan to focus on mid-to-late-stage digital health companies and the effort will be based in Singapore. EDBI expects to use its local and regional stakeholder connections in Asia to aid the portfolio companies, while Philips will offer mentorship to them.

Philips is in the midst of an ongoing refocus solely on its consumer and healthcare businesses known collectively as HealthTech. It's working to rid itself of much of its legacy lighting businesses and to reinvest that cash into the current business priorities.

And quite a lot of cash could be slated to come Philips' way. Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that it might have a lighting unit bid worth as much as $6.5 billion. But the Singapore deal partners didn't detail the financials on their joint investment effort.

"This partnership seeks effective uses of IT, like telehealth, which empower patients with greater responsibility over their health, in line with Singapore's vision of creating citizen-centric healthcare services where healthcare is moved from hospitals to community and homes," said EDBI CEO and President Chu Swee Yeok in a statement. "Within Singapore's pro-business environment, large corporations and fast-growing companies can co-create novel high value solutions for the Asian market."

Portfolio companies will be able to use the Philips HealthSuite Digital Platform, a cloud-based analytical solution that analyzes health data from multiple medical devices, to develop the population health applications. Philips also plans to give them access to their partners, customers and sales channels.

"This will bring us closer to achieving our vision to improving the lives of three billion people a year by 2025, while developing Singapore's workforce to further strengthen the country's position as the leading medical hub in Asia," said Philips ASEAN Pacific CEO Fabian Wong. "Ultimately, both EDBI and Philips are looking to build a robust digital health ecosystem to serve the needs of a growing and aging population in Asia."

Earlier this week, Philips also disclosed a new $90 million, 15-year deal with Marin General Hospital, which is just north of San Francisco. Philips will provide the independent community hospital with a range of med tech including imaging systems, patient monitoring, telehealth and clinical informatics solutions as well as clinical education, consulting and design services.

This is Philips' third major North American hospital deal in the last 6 months; courting hospitals and healthcare systems to secure these sorts of massive commitments is part of the company's stated strategy.

- here are the Asia investment and Marin hospital announcements