Medicine: GE’s Commitment to Health Care

General Electric products can be seen in households across the globe. From washing machines to kitchen appliances, they’ve been making lives easier for decades.

This month, there’s great news coming out of GE – and this time it’s affecting health care. They’ve long been making waves in the medical sector by transforming technologies to enhance patient care. Some equipment you might be familiar with upon a visit to the hospital, include imaging and diagnostic machines and patient monitoring systems.

Now, the world-renown company has announced a commitment to spending $6M globally, to help revitalize technology in health care over the course of six years.

They hope to accomplish three goals through a new vision called Healthymagination. By 2015 they plan to:

1. Improve Quality by 15 per cent by simplifying health care procedures and standards

2. Reduce Costs of procedures by 15 per cent by utilizing GE technologies and services

3. Increase Access by 15 per cent to services available over the Internet for health care (including access to electronic health records)

The announcement took place at the MaRS Centre in Toronto, in a room filled with senior policy makers and physicians, including Toronto’s own Dr. Marla Shapiro.

A recent survivor of breast cancer, Dr. Shapiro noted the great leaps being made in Canada’s health care sector since she was first diagnosed.

“When I was diagnosed with my disease, it was a long process,” Shapiro said. “I had to schedule an appointment for the mammogram of one breast, and an appointment at a later date for the other breast. Nowadays, people can get tested and diagnosed within a day.”

GE hopes to continue on this path of success in the sector, but notes that they cannot stand alone in achieving their 2015 goal. General Manager of GE Healthcare, Canada, Peter Robertson stated the company needs to work with partners in the industry to ensure they follow through on their commitment.

“Managing costs, while increasing quality and access, can be done – if government, health care agencies, institutions, businesses, academic bodies, patient interest groups, all of us, collaborate,” Robertson said.

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— Simone Castello