In the spotlight

Innovator in the Spotlight – Kitty de Jong

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Advising within the field of healthcare innovation is something our people at MedScaler are familiar with. Our new innovator in the spotlight, healthcare innovation expert Kitty de Jong, is a true leader in the space. Kitty is specialized in the innovation of elderly care specifically, the branch in which she started as a physiotherapist 30 years ago. Over the years she has launched, led, and successfully implemented numerous fantastic innovations, each changing elderly care for the better. In this article, you will read about what has struck her most about the industry over the years, which innovation she is most proud of, and why she started working with MedScaler.

Thank you for participating in this interview. Can you tell us a bit more about what you are currently doing within healthcare innovation?

“Definitely! As a healthcare innovation consultant, I mostly advise healthcare organizations on how to innovate and startups and scale-ups on how to enter new markets and scale their innovations. I work as a self-employed consultant two days a week and as an advisor and board member at Omring another three days a week. Omring is a healthcare institution mainly focused on elderly care, with a great innovation department. I get a lot of energy from all those innovations, which fully align with my passion: improving healthcare.”

Kitty has held this role as advisor for about five years now. She enjoyed it so much that she decided to launch her consultancy firm in October 2018. As an independent consultant, she advises all kinds of healthcare-related organizations, from foundations to startups.

How cool! In what way have you seen the elderly care branch grow over all these years?

“When I started as a physiotherapist 30 years ago, innovation in this industry was minimal. However, the rise of technology and the digitalization of healthcare has allowed exponential improvement and innovation of healthcare. When this started happening, I saw the potential for very beautiful and practical innovations. I think the medicine dispensers, image care, and telemonitoring are great examples of this. Sometimes, something so simple has a real impact, especially on the elderly. As far as the digitalization of healthcare is concerned, real progress has been made since the urgency increased.

As innovator, do you have a favorite innovation that you have seen in the last five years?

“Good question. Over the last few years, I think there have been many great innovations. One of my favorites has to be the smart incontinence material. An innovative sensor measures moisture absorption which allows the healthcare worker to know when it needs to be changed. A great example that is now widely used in practice. At the moment, unfortunately, there are some obstacles to overcome before we can implement these innovations at scale, but I think it is just a matter of time before we will do so successfully.

I also like what is happening in the field of home automation in healthcare. The ongoing development is wonderful. We are working a lot with sensor innovations that contribute to the well-being of our patients, which is great. And lastly, I want to mention online administration registration systems and medication lists. The collaborative efforts that many healthcare institutions have shown have had a major impact on the healthcare sector so far and will continue to do so.”

Why did you choose to join MedScaler’s Innovators Club?

I have known Nino Bellengé (MedScaler’s Managing Director) for some time now and he approached me about potentially becoming an Innovators Club member. As I saw this would be a win-win situation for both of us, I didn’t have to think about it for long. I enjoy keeping up to date with the latest healthcare innovations and at the same time, I can use my expertise to help MedScaler validate these innovations. Better than anyone, I know how difficult it is to grow from start-up to scale-up, so I’m happy to do my part and contribute to society. Besides, working with a young group of people about my passion for healthcare innovation is great fun and it keeps me young as well!”

We are very happy to have Kitty as a member of our Innovators Club and we are excited to work on innovative solutions to face the challenges of the future, together.

Are you working on an innovation that might be interesting to Kitty? Let us know via innovators@medscaler.com

Would you like to become a member of the MedScaler Innovators Club, too? Join here.

Would you like to see an extensive overview of all healthcare innovation we’ve helped scale? Check out our Innovation Database.