GE, Intel to invest $250M in healthcare remote monitoring technologies

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GE and Intel have formed an alliance to market and develop home-based health technologies to remotely monitor seniors and patients with chronic conditions, according to an announcement made at a joint press conference in New York City today, hosted by Intel's CEO and President Paul Otellini and GE's CEO and Board Chairman Jeffrey Immelt.

GE Healthcare will sell and market the Intel Health Guide, a care-management tool designed for healthcare professionals who manage patients with chronic conditions.

The market for telehealth and home health monitoring is predicted to grow from $3 billion in 2009 to an estimated $7.7 billion by 2012, according to a report from market research firm Data Monitor.

Immelt and Otellini announced the alliance today, along with an investment of more than $250 million over the next five years for the research and product development of home-based health technologies. Elements of the announcement include:

  • GE Healthcare and Intel will work together, combining their research resources to accelerate the commercialization of next-generation home health technologies. Both companies also plan to expand their current development programs in home health and independent living technologies to include new areas such as fall prevention, medication compliance, sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and personal wellness monitoring. This combines Intel's capabilities in ethnographic research and technology development combined with GE's global distribution of healthcare IT, EMRs, critical care and passive monitoring.
  • Commercial business agreement: GE Healthcare will sell and market the Intel Health Guide, a personal health system, in the United States. GE Healthcare's capabilities in disease management, and its distribution reach in the healthcare sector, including patients' self-monitoring of health status and a direct communications channel to healthcare professionals.

"Improving healthcare accessibility and reducing costs are essential to economic recovery and growth. We think this partnership offers the potential to lower costs by keeping people out of hospitals while giving health professionals the data they need to deliver the best possible care. Intel and GE share a vision to use technology to bring effective healthcare into millions of homes and to improve the lives of seniors and people with chronic illness," Immelt said.

Otellini commented that most of the healthcare discussions today focus on the integration of more technology into traditional healthcare settings.  "While those investments are necessary and will create a more efficient healthcare system, it is not sufficient to meet the growing needs that are about to impact a system that is already at a saturation point. The GE and Intel partnership will not only help seniors and the chronically ill, but will also take a giant step forward in changing how healthcare is delivered," Otellini said.

GE and Intel are currently active in patient monitoring and home health, such as:

  • GE Quiet Care, a passive remote activity and behavioral monitoring system for seniors, alerting caregivers to changes that may signal potential health issues or emergency situations such as a fall or emerging health problem. It is used primarily in assisted living facilities across the United States.
  • The Intel Health Guide, a personal health system combining an in-home patient device with an online interface to allow clinicians to monitor patients in their homes and manage care remotely. The Health Guide includes vital sign collection, patient reminders and communications tools such as video conferencing and alerts.