GE Healthcare launches connectivity business unit

November 12, 2009
Ron Rajecki
Ron Rajecki

GE Healthcare has launched a new business unit designed to improve healthcare systems connectivity for clinicians and patients.

GE Healthcare has launched a new business unit designed to improve healthcare systems connectivity for clinicians and patients. The unit, eHealth, includes data privacy and security features to enable the sharing of health information in an effort to increase efficiency, reduce error, and improve health outcomes, according to the company.

“Connecting healthcare systems is challenging,” Brandon Savage, MD, chief medical officer of GE Healthcare IT, said in a prepared statement. “Wide variations in clinical terminology, patient identification methods, and systems architecture make integrating health information exceptionally difficult. Turning that information into value for the care provider is a second, even more challenging hurdle, requiring deep understanding of care provider requirements and clinical workflows.”

eHealth is part of GE’s $6 billion global Healthymagination initiative to improve quality and access to healthcare while reducing costs. The initiative is funded through the $250 million GE Healthymagination Fund, announced in October. The equity fund will invest globally in companies developing diagnostic technology, information technology, and life sciences technology deemed promising and aligned with the strategic objectives of the initiative. The fund also will support healthcare companies developing business models and services deemed innovative and unique.

In other news, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) selected GE Healthcare to provide extensive surveillance data for H1N1 and seasonal influenza activity throughout the United States. Every 24 hours, GE Healthcare reports information gathered from its nationwide electronic database of nearly 14 million patient records to help the CDC monitor the spread of the H1N1 virus in near real-time.

“This is a strong example of the power of digitizing the nation’s medical records,” GE Healthcare IT Vice President and General Manager Jim Corrigan said in a prepared statement. “With EMR data, not only are we able to accelerate the reporting of any aggregate changes to the health of the U.S. population, we’re able to provide valuable and timely clinical data to health professionals.”