SensUs Interviews: Jeroen Nieuwenhuis

As one of our first and largest sponsors we proudly present our partner Philips in this edition of SensUs Interviews. We spoke with Jeroen Nieuwenhuis who is the head of the research and development organisation of Philips Handheld Diagnostics and one of the jury members of SensUs 2016.

Can you tell something about yourself? Who are you and what is your role in Philips Handheld Diagnostics?
"I obtained a MSc in electrical engineering from the Delft University of Technology and during my PhD studies I developed a lab-on-a-chip device at the Vienna University of Technology. After spending some time in R&D roles in the US I joined Philips Research in 2005 to work on magnetic biosensors. Since 2009 I have worked at Philips Handheld Diagnostics where I current head the R&D organization."

How is your company involved in the field of biosensing?
"At Philips Handheld Diagnostics we have developed a point-of-care immunoassay platform called the Minicare I-20 for which we have developed the Minicare cTnI test as an aid in the diagnosis of acute coronary syndrome. Currently we are working on adding more tests to the menu. In other departments in Philips we are working on additional point-of-care biosensor modalities such as hematology and molecular diagnostics."

How do you see the future for point-of-care testing and biochemical patient monitoring? Which innovations are needed and which long-term developments do you foresee?
"Point-of-care test testing will become easier to use, enabling non-professional operators to use these devices not only for diagnosis but increasingly for prevention and monitoring of disease state as well. For certain applications continuous monitoring may even be desirable; innovations will be needed in the long-term stability of these sensors."

Which patient groups will benefit most from developments in molecular biosensing?
"With aging populations and increased life expectancies in many countries the prevalence of chronic disease will increase; unless we find more cost-effective solutions to manage these diseases, healthcare systems will struggle to cope with these patient groups. An example of such a disease state would be chronic heart failure, where the patient could measure BNP, creatinine and potassium to manage his/her health state."

What do you think of the SensUs concept and vision?
"In-vitro diagnostic measurements play a major role in clinical decision making; it is important to stimulate innovation to develop better biosensors capable of identifying potential health risks at an earlier state such that these can be treated before they become severe."

How is SensUs of interest for Philips Handheld Diagnostics?
"Innovative diagnostics solutions are at the heart of what we do at Philips Handheld Diagnostics. We support SensUs because it raises interest in the field of innovative diagnostics and inspires students to join this rewarding field."

How are you involved in SensUs 2016?
"As Philips we sponsor the SensUs 2016 competition and personally I will be a jury member."

Finally, do you have an advice for the SensUs students and stakeholders?
"Developing a good biosensor is a multi-disciplinary team effort; embrace diversity to form successful teams."