GE; Microsoft Announce New Developments in Healthcare

Need more proof that the cloud is the future of healthcare?  How about this:  General Electric and Microsoft – two big names in cloud-based healthcare technology — have recently announced plans to create a joint healthcare venture designed to address important changes in the healthcare industry.

The new company, which has not been named yet, will enable doctors and healthcare facilities to share patient information, streamline and manage new payment models, and shift focus from single-patient care to continuous population management, 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,” Immelt said in a joint press release issued by GE and Microsoft.  “This venture will demonstrate what is possible when leading companies with complementary capabilities work together to meet a common goal.”

GE and Microsoft are both known for producing a wide range of products and services related to healthcare.  The new joint venture will give users in the healthcare industry the option to mix-and-match some of each company’s most popular and widely-used products, including electronic data-sharing platforms like Microsoft Amalga and GE Healthcare eHealth, as well as Microsoft expreSSO, Microsoft Vergence, and GE Healthcare Qualibria.

“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,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft.

In addition to streamlining communication and making it easier to access patient data, the new company – which is still awaiting regulatory approval before it launches early this year –  is expected to cut down on healthcare-related infections by helping medical professionals more quickly identify patients who are especially at risk.  Additionally, the new venture should make it easier for patients and their doctors to co-manage diseases and chronic conditions by sharing and tracking home testing devices.

What do you think of this announcement?  What’s your take on healthcare and the cloud?  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

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