GE, Intel launch new telehealth joint venture

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GE Healthcare and Intel have launched a joint venture to create a new healthcare company focused on telehealth and independent living, slated to be operational by the end of 2010.

The venture will combine assets of GE’s home health division and Intel’s digital health group, and builds on the GE-Intel healthcare alliance for independent living, assistive technologies and chronic disease management announced in April 2009, the two companies revealed at a press conference Aug. 2.

The new company–which will be equally owned by GE and Intel–will be led by Louis Burns, CEO of the new company and current vice president and general manager of Intel’s digital health group. Omar Ishrak, currently senior vice president of GE and president and CEO of GE Healthcare Systems, will become chairman of the board of the new company.

The current burden of healthcare costs around the world has triggered a huge potential marketplace for telehealth, and “we simply do not have the resources to care for our elders in traditional settings,” Burns said. “We intend to create a new company to address the high cost of treating chronic illnesses, the inefficacies of traditional hospitals and institution-based models, and most importantly, we want to enable our elders to live independently in their homes or wherever they choose with dignity and the care they deserve.”

Assistive technologies, such as the Intel Health Guide, Intel Reader and GE Healthcare’s QuietCare, as well as research capabilities and other assets from each company will bolster this joint venture, noted Ishrak. In addition, the company will develop its own technologies–both hardware and software offerings, said Burns.

The new company, which has yet to named, will be based in Sacramento, Calif. The financial terms of the venture, as well as the structure of the company, were not disclosed.

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