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Companies

Microsoft, GE to launch joint-venture

BARRINGTON, Ill. and REDMOND, Wash. – General Electric Co., through its healthcare IT business, and Microsoft Corp. have announced plans to create a joint venture aimed at helping healthcare organizations and professionals use real-time, system-wide intelligence to improve healthcare quality and the patient experience.

Upon formation, the new company will develop and market an open, interoperable technology platform and innovative clinical applications focused on enabling better population health management to improve outcomes and the overall economics of health and wellness.

As healthcare providers and payers around the globe shift from episodic single-patient care to continuous population management, new requirements have emerged for integrated care processes, greater insight and engaging patient experiences. These delivery system reforms, including a shift toward new payment models, require healthcare providers to address gaps and integrate data across silos of care delivery to help enable better care coordination and performance improvement.

This new venture will combine Microsoft’s deep expertise in building platforms and ecosystems with GE Healthcare’s experience in clinical and administrative workflow solutions, empowering healthcare professionals and organizations with the intelligence and capabilities to respond to the rapidly evolving and complex healthcare landscape.

“The complementary nature of GE Healthcare’s and Microsoft’s individual expertise will drive new insights, solutions and efficiencies to further advance the two companies’ shared vision of a connected, patient-centric healthcare system,” said Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman and CEO of GE. “The global healthcare challenges of access, cost and quality of care delivery are creating a new focus on the performance and accountability of healthcare delivery systems – in every country, at every level of care. This venture will demonstrate what is possible when leading companies with complementary capabilities work together to meet a common goal.”

The new company will deliver a distinctive, open platform that will give healthcare providers and independent software vendors the ability to develop a new generation of clinical applications. The venture will develop healthcare applications on the platform using in-house developers and the platform will connect with a wide range of healthcare IT products, including those from GE Healthcare IT and other vendors.

“High quality affordable healthcare is one of the biggest challenges facing every nation, but it’s also an area where technology can make a huge difference,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. “Combining Microsoft’s open, interoperable health platforms and software expertise with GE’s experience and healthcare solutions will create exciting opportunities for patients and healthcare providers alike. Working together, GE and Microsoft can help make healthcare systems more intelligent and cost efficient while improving patient care.”

The two parent companies bring complementary expertise to this new venture and will contribute intellectual property, including:

• Microsoft Amalga, an enterprise health intelligence platform;

• Microsoft Vergence, a single sign-on and context management solution;

• Microsoft expreSSO, an enterprise single sign-on solution;

• GE Healthcare eHealth, a Health Information Exchange;

• GE Healthcare Qualibria, a clinical knowledge application environment being developed in cooperation with Intermountain Healthcare (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Mayo Clinic.

The long-term vision of the venture is to create new value by offering a healthcare performance management suite that includes many of these products.

In addition to the new joint venture, GE Healthcare and Microsoft will each maintain a strong presence in the healthcare IT industry, as both parent organizations will continue to sell other products and services to healthcare organizations around the globe.

“Improving the quality of healthcare through innovative collaboration is a goal that we share with GE Healthcare and Microsoft. Working together with others to identify new ways to improve health outcomes and drive down cost is a hallmark of our patient-care philosophy,” said C. Michel Harper, M.D., Executive Dean for Practice, Mayo Clinic. “We’re pleased to see healthcare IT companies embrace this same idea and come together in new ways. We look forward to seeing the progress this new endeavor will bring in medicine.”

“Intermountain Healthcare and GE have a strong history and partnership in developing and advancing transformational healthcare information technologies,” stated Charles S. Sorenson, MD, president and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare. “Our common vision is driving powerful advancements in healthcare and improving the clinical work process by making real-time information available at the point of care. We look forward to continuing our efforts to further these principles, achieving our combined objectives, and putting these important technologies into practice.”

The new company’s products and services will provide the information and insight required to help address many critical problems in the healthcare system today, including:

Healthcare Associated Infections – In the US alone, an estimated 1.7 million healthcare associated infections (HAI) occur annually, resulting in $35 billion in additional healthcare costs, and the loss of nearly 100,000 lives. By pulling together data from disparate IT systems, identifying those patients most at risk for a given HAI, and surfacing guidelines and protocols within provider workflow, the solutions will enable healthcare organizations to more effectively deploy their resources and deliver better care at lower costs.


Posted December 15, 2011

 

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