GE announced this week that its "healthymagination" program to improve health and grow its healthcare business around the world is ahead of schedule after Year 2, having so far invested $2.2 billion of the $6 billion (36 percent) it pledged over six years while deveoping just under half (43) of its projected 100 health-related products and services.
During the initiative's first year, GE spent $700 million to create 24 new products and services, and placed $250 million in a healthcare technology startup fund.
Among the new medical devices and software programs GE has marketed under the healthymagination banner are:
- A $500, pocket-sized cardiac ultrasound machine that's being used to diagnose rheumatic heart disease in India.
- A low-cost CT scanner that GE has launched in China.
- A new kind of MRI unit that can be used to target individual joints and bones while a patient is seated.
- A molecular pathology testing service to detect breast cancer.
- The GE Centricity Advance EHR for small physician practices.
- Reporting and analytics applications that are being used to improve hospital performance.
- Mobile health applications.
GE views healthyimagination as far more than a marketing strategy. Its 2010 report on the project terms it "a rallying cry for meaningful innovation to address the world's biggest health issues."
This has involved working with developing nations, as well as Saudi Arabia, to improve their healthcare systems. In the U.S., GE has collaborated with Intermountain Healthcare to develop Qualibria, a new type of clinical decision support program.
GE recently established a Patient Safety Organization (PSO) that uses its analytic software to identify root causes of patient safety problems in hospitals. And it donated $1 million "in kind" to expand the HealthBridge health information exchange in Cincinnati, where GE has many employees.
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