Innovation impacts family

Healthcare innovation that is helping doctors monitor patients.

Alejo Costa Ribalta helped develop the IntelliVue patient monitoring technology that incidentally played an important role in monitoring his brother’s recovery from brain tumour surgery.

One of the most important mindsets that Philips instils within its staff is that they should build every machine as if the life of a family member depended on it. It is the kind of mentality that ensures our products are not only meaningful, but also built to the highest specifications. That was exactly what happened to Alejo Costa Ribalta, when he worked in the Spanish research and development team on an intelligent patient monitor that is now a common feature in hospitals.

Nine years ago, I worked in the Philips Research and Development Department in patient monitoring… One of the mottos at Philips was to build it like the 'family member depended on it'. And that's exactly what happened to me".


Alejo Costa Ribalta

Head of Field Marketing, Philips Patient Care and Clinical Informatics

When his brother Andre was punched in the face during a bar brawl over a game of chess, he was given a regular scan just to be on the safe side. Doctors noticed a suspicious mass and ordered an MRI scan which revealed an entirely unrelated brain tumour that might otherwise have gone undetected. Recovering from surgery, he found himself hooked up to a Philips IntelliVue patient monitoring system — a Philips innovation developed a decade earlier by his own brother so that hospitals could use simple, portable and extremely fast-working machines that can collect data to provide a coherent picture of a patient’s status. The patient monitoring system did its job and Andre is now back to playing chess. His ever-resourceful brother has even found a way to stop him getting into any more fights over the game as this short film shows.

70 000

primary brain tumours will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year. 14,000 people will lose their battle with brain tumours per year.


Citation: American Brain Tumor Association

How many different types of brain and central nervous system tumours exist?

120+. The WHO classifies brain tumours by cell origin and how the cells behave, from the least aggressive (benign) to the most aggressive (malignant). Citation: National Brain Society

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