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TMC Employeneurs help develop breakthrough Philips Minicare Acute system

Philips Handheld Diagnostics is developing the breakthrough Minicare Acute system, which will deliver lab-comparable blood test results within minutes at the ‘point-of-care’, right besides the patient’s bed. Recently we talked to Michel Werts, who is one of the seven TMC Employeneurs working on the project. Four of them are working in the Process Development group at Handheld Diagnostics, which is run by Team Leader Femke de Theije. We asked Femke about the set-up and development of the project, and her experience with TMC.

Emerging business

“Handheld Diagnostics is an emerging business within Philips. We started in Philips Research and now we have our own manufacturing line and we are building a commercial organisation. Within the Research & Development section I run the Assay Development and the Process Development group. Our goal is to create a biosensor suitable for many different applications. Each application uses a disposable cartridge that connects to a handheld analyser. The substance that needs testing, blood for example, goes on the cartridge and the results are shown on the display of the analyser. The Assay Development group develops the biological part of each application, and the Process Development group ensures that we can make everything in a reproducible way.”

The project and the future

“The project is taking shape, and we have a clear vision for the future. We are starting with biosensors at hospital ER departments, and after that we want to design applications that can be used in ambulances. But we also see a future where biosensors are used by the local family doctor, so patients can have their results before they even leave their appointment. And last but not least, we see home testing opportunities. Our first application is now in the process of clinical testing, and we are working hard on a lot of other applications.”

Need for flexibility

“The speed with which our organisation is growing, and the nature of the product we are developing, means that the organisation needs to be flexible. We are now working with a mixed group of people. Some of them are working on a Philips contract and some are posted workers. When we grow larger, we will try and get some posted workers to change to a Philips contract, but we will always prefer a mix. TMC treats their people really well. For TMC of course the client is king, but they treat their people as kings as well. As a client it’s really great to work with people who are really happy with the situation they are in.”

TMC listened very well

“We are doing a lot of things for the first time in this project. TMC Nanotechnology listened very well to us when we said we needed experienced people to help the Process Development, and they delivered them. The TMC Employeneurs bring us the flexibility we need and a lot of experience. And most important, they are doing a lot of good work. Some of them have already been working for us for over a year and a half, which demonstrates how valuable they are to the project.”

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