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General Electric and Intel Corp. on Thursday formed an alliance to market and develop home-based health technologies that will help seniors live independently and patients with chronic conditions manage their care from the comfort of their home or wherever they choose.

GE Healthcare will sell and market the Intel Health Guide, a care management tool designed for healthcare professionals who manage patients with chronic conditions. With the dramatic increase of people with chronic conditions and an aging population, there is a need to extend care from the hospital to the home. 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.

GE Chairman of the Board and CEO Jeff Immelt and Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini announced the alliance 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. Key elements of the announcement include:

  • Global product research and development alliance: GE Healthcare and Intel will work together, combining their complementary skill sets and extensive research resources to accelerate the innovation and 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. The combination of Intel's capabilities in ethnographic research and technology development combined with GE's world-class expertise and global distribution strengths in healthcare IT, electronic medical records, critical care and passive monitoring is a strong strategic fit.
  • 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 will help drive understanding of the benefits of this innovative technology, which includes patients' self-monitoring of health status and a direct communications channel to healthcare professionals.

Both companies recently announced their involvement in externally funded independent living and home health research programs; GE Healthcare is leading a consortium of private and public sector organizations in a $5 million three-year home health research program funded by the Hungarian government. Intel and the Irish Development Agency have established a $30 million TRIL Centre (Technology Research for Independent Living), bringing together world-class industry and academic experts to research independent living technologies.

In the United States the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics forecast that by 2030, approximately 71.5 million people will be 65 and older, representing nearly 20 percent of the total U.S. population – up from 37 million Americans in 2006. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and hypertension kill more than 1.7 million Americans per year, and are responsible for 7 of every 10 deaths in the U.S.

GE and Intel are currently active in patient monitoring and home health, with well-recognized brands and strong sector expertise:

  • GE Quiet Care is a remote passive 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. GE Healthcare also brings significant capabilities in the development of products for critical care patient monitoring, cardiac diagnostics, home respiratory care, and healthcare IT such as electronic medical records and clinical decisions support.
  • The Intel Health Guide is a comprehensive personal health system combining an in-home patient device with an online interface to allow clinicians 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. Intel also brings its world-class know-how in the development of user-friendly interfaces for high technology products and tools for online cognitive assessment and social interaction, all of which will be vital to the design of easy to use home-based health products.

Tags: Intel, General Electric

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