Later today, Intel CEO Paul Otellini and General Electric CEO and Chairman Jeff Immelt will announce an alliance to push forward innovative healthcare technologies, including possible applications for health-care IT and home health monitoring.
The collaboration forms from Intel’s need for a well-established reliable player that can help it gain a broader foothold in the healthcare industry. Logically, GE would fit this match for being a major provider of imaging and diagnostic equipment used by many hospitals as well as other medical-information systems.
On another note, it has been suggested that the alliance results from the Obama administration’s efforts to improve both healthcare efficiency and overall expenses. As of recent, one of the biggest focuses the administration has pushed for is “telemedicine,” or the idea of health professionals remotely diagnosing and treating medical conditions. According to Marc Holland, research director at Health Industry Insights, this focus puts Intel in “a very good position.” Holland also suggested that GE might provide monitoring services for patients, a bit like the way security services monitor burglar alarms.
Intel has been devoting more R&D dollars to health care as evidenced by pilot programs such as the new Intel Health Guide medical device announced last year. The device is designed to allow the monitoring of patients in their homes and to remotely manage their care in order to give them more independence and relaxation. Currently, the company has developed a tablet-PC for use in hospitals by nurses and other staff. It has also taken part in programs run by Aetna, Scan Health Plan, Erickson Retirement Communities, and the Providence Medical Group in Oregon.
Moreover, Intel and General Electric are expected to make sizable investments targeting in-home health care. Intel is also currently partnering with the Mayo Clinic and the American Heart Association, while GE is active in the health care field as a major supplier of diagnostic systems.