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How the 'internet of things' could affect healthcare

The CEO of Dutch electronics and health-care firm Philips has told CNBC that the "internet of things" provides exciting opportunities for his company.

The phrase refers to the increasing number of devices that are connected online with one another - and 2014 has been tipped to be a transformative year for the trend.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Frans van Houten, Philips CEO, said the interconnectivity of devices would enable Philips to connect home healthcare to healthcare professionals in hospitals.

"Home healthcare is an exciting market, but we will always need healthcare professionals," he said.

(Read more: Philips CEO: 'Obamacare' is a temporary distraction)

"So what we see as a great opportunity is connecting the home to hospital. Where all the information about your vital signs and your early diagnostics information is offered to the doctor."

Van Houten admitted the "internet of things" was having an impact at Philips.

"We see it as a huge opportunity," he added. "Tying it all together - because that it how healthcare providers become more effective."

Van Houten was speaking ahead of the company's fourth-quarter results for 2013, due to be released on January 28.

In the third quarter, Philips reported net profit that beat expectations, nearly tripling from the year earlier, at 281 million euros ($384 million) from 105 million euros in the third quarter of 2012.

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