Dean's Distinguished Lecture: Gene Saragnese, ENG'79

Coming in at 18% of GDP and rising, the U.S. healthcare industry is facing polarizing challenges as it continues to represent a growing sector of the economy. Finding innovative solutions to ensure the benefits of a world class healthcare system on a global scale is what School of Engineering alumnus Gene Saragnese likens to “a great ride at Disney World.”  

Saragnese’s position as CEO of Imagining Systems at Philips Healthcare gives him a unique perspective into health care technology to substantiate that claim, which he did when he returned to campus to deliver the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture on Monday, February 23, 2015, kicking off National Engineers Week at Rutgers School of Engineering.

Speaking to a packed auditorium of undergraduate and graduate students and faculty members about “The Changing Health Care Landscape and the Role Innovation Plays in the Path Forward,” Sarganese confronted the realities of global health care: more patients in the world than ever before, with less money spent per patient, and fewer care givers relative to the number of patients. “For better or worse, health care touches everyone,” he said.

Philips, Saragnese said, is committed to the health and wellbeing of populations around the world. By focusing on the ecosystem of health care—the intersection of patients, providers, purchasers, and payers—real industry innovation can happen.

“If it’s all about the patient and keeping them well, there is a different basis for innovating,” he said. “If you can understand the environment and understand your role in making it better, that’s where innovation will occur.”

Working across disciplines also leads to greater problem solving and innovation, he believes.

“The concept of collaboration truly is a basis of sharing knowledge,” Saragnese believes. “It is incredibly powerful and the true meaning of innovation.”

To find out more about Philips, read: Unique Insights on Trends, Opportunities and Challenges to Help You Navigate the Evolution of Healthcare