General Electric Co.’s health IT business, GE Healthcare, and Microsoft Corp. announced a new joint venture that will aim to create an interoperable health IT platform and innovative clinical apps.
The move comes as the health industry begins to rethink how it approaches patient-centered care, population management and workflows and the traditional fee-for-service model is slowly replaced by performance-based incentives. The new joint venture will focus on applications for better population management and patient care, according to a press release.
Although the new company lacks a name at this point, officials say that it will combine Microsoft’s expertise in building platforms with GE Healthcare’s knowledge of creating clinical and administrative workflows. It hopes to help health care professionals and organizations remain poised in an “evolving and complex healthcare landscape,” said Michael Simpson, vice president and general manager at GE Healthcare.
The joint venture will offer insight to “address many critical problems in the healthcare system today,” added Simpson, who will serve as CEO of the company, expected to be headquartered near Microsoft in Redmond, Wash.
Some of the noted critical issues are population health management, clinical surveillance, hospital readmissions, hospital care transitions, health care associated infections and chronic disease management.
Having an open platform gives software vendors the chance to develop new clinical apps, officials say. The apps will be created by in-house staff members and hope to interoperable with a variety of IT product from different vendors. It’s unclear at this point, however, if the joint venture’s platform products will be interoperable with electronic health record (EHR) systems.
Both organizations will continue to market their existing products in the health IT market — such as Microsoft Amalga, Microsoft Vergence and GE Healthcare eHealth — but also look expand their new venture by offering a suite that combines these products.
The project’s launch is contingent on regulatory approvals, but it’s expected to go live in the half of 2012.