Population Health

March 9, 2022

Improving physical health through changes in oral health behaviors

Image of Rashmi RaoApproximately 50 University of Washington students, staff and faculty gathered in the Hans Rosling Center for Population Health on March 7, 2022 for Rashmi Rao’s presentation, “Health Continuum Gap: Impacting Health Outcomes Through Behavioral Change.” The seminar was part of the UW Engineering Innovation in Health program’s Leaders in Health Innovation Speaker Series, which is a quarterly series that features leading experts discussing key topics in health innovation. The Population Health Initiative was a co-sponsor of this seminar.

Rao (pictured) is the Senior Vice President Business at Philips Oral Healthcare, where she leads a team of more than 290 people who are working toward building the next generation of personal health technology products. Her presentation touched on the history of Philips’ oral healthcare products, explored how the company is working toward supporting individual behavioral change and made an explicit connection between one’s oral health and their overall health.

Some of the innovations Rao highlighted included collaborations by Philips with insurance companies and employers to support consumers in improving their overall health, particularly for those with chronic diseases or in key life stages, with changes to oral health behavior as the critical conduit. Philips is also exploring how best to incorporate artificial intelligence and analytics into its oral health products to support individuals in improving their health and well-being.

Visit the Engineering Innovation in Health website to learn more about this series and other aspects of its program.