GE: 'Healthymagination' global biz strategy hits first year goals; $700 million R&D investment

It's been one year since General Electric kicked off its six-year, $6 billion "healthymagination" sustainable healthcare initiative. Here's a look at its progress.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

It's been one year since General Electric kicked off its six-year, $6 billion "healthymagination" sustainable healthcare initiative.

So how's it coming along?

The world's largest maker of medical-imaging equipment and health-care IT systems published on Monday the first annual report for its global business strategy for achieving sustainable health, and from the look of things, it's right on track.

According to the report, the venture has managed the following since its May 2009 launch:

  • 24 products and services.
  • $700 million in research and development investment.
  • $250 million investment in an equity fund focused on growing healthcare technology companies.

The initiative is dedicated to three things: decreasing costs, improving quality and increasing access to healthcare. It involves several business units within the company, including NBC Universal, GE Water, GE Capital and GE Healthcare.

Here are some takeaways from the report.

By 2015, GE wants to:

  • Invest $3 billion in R&D, $2 billion in financing and $1 billion in technology and content.
  • Launch at least 100 innovations that lower cost, increase access and improve quality by 15 percent.
  • Work with partners to focus innovations on critical needs, such as accelerating health information technology, offering high-tech products to more affordable price points and increasing access to the underserved.
  • Expand employee health efforts.
  • Increase the "value gap" between GE’s health spend and GE Healthcare's earnings.
  • Report on healthymagination progress.

According to its first report, here's how GE did:

  • $700 million invested in R&D.
  • 24 new product innovations, such as the portable handheld Vscan ultrasound and low-cost Brivo CT scanner.
  • $350 million pledge for Stimulus Simplicity financing program and healthymagination Fund.
  • Partnership with Intel and the Mayo Clinic for a year-long study evaluating the benefits of remote monitoring devices for home-based patient care.
  • Launched three-year, $25 million "Developing Health" program that provides grant funding and volunteer support to non-profit health centers in the U.S.
  • Partnership with Eli Lilly to develop technology for faster, cheaper, smarter cancer therapies.
  • Launched employee wellness and site certification program called HealthAhead.
  • Lowered healthcare costs.
  • Increased employee awareness of "making cost-conscious decisions."
  • Offered online reporting portal, as well as several neat infographics on affording healthcare, the cost of getting sick and the cost of chronic diseases, among others.

If you're interested, you can read the entire report here (.pdf).

"We've made some good progress in year one and will look to build on this success in year two, with an increased global focus," said GE Healthymagination vice president Mike Barber in a statement.

GE's goals for year two include developing IT solutions for real-time clinical decision support, creating more products targeted to local needs at affordable price points, and providing health solutions to remote and underserved communities.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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