GE Healthcare announced today the creation of Sustainable Healthcare Solutions, a new business unit that will invest $300 million as part of a multi-phase effort to develop a more robust affordable health care portfolio for customers. The unit will combine GE Healthcare’s operations in India, South Asia, Africa and Southeast Asia.
The $18 billion health care technology division of General Electric, GE Healthcare’s U.S. headquarters is in Wauwatosa. It also has locations in Waukesha, Milwaukee and Madison.
The goal of Sustainable Healthcare Solutions is to develop high-value, low-cost technologies and health care delivery solutions across multiple care settings. With the vision to improve access to quality and affordable health around the world, SHS will work with governments, clinicians, private operators and NGOs to deliver value-based solutions aimed at improving outcomes for health systems and patients.
“Much of the world’s population is without adequate health care, and innovations that can create better patient outcomes in a sustainable way are urgently needed,” said John Flannery, president and chief executive officer of GE Healthcare. “Many emerging economies are looking for experienced partners to help build skills, capacity and effective health care solutions for their patients.”
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GE Healthcare created a new business unit called Sustainable Healthcare Solutions.[/caption]
While the new SHS health care unit will be based outside the U.S., GE Healthcare spokesman Ben Fox said the affordable products and solutions it focuses on will be built around globally relevant health care areas, including mother and child care, cardiovascular, oncology, radiology, surgery, life sciences, peri-operative care and remote diagnostics.
“These clinical areas represent several opportunities for Wisconsin-based manufacturing to help meet the demand,” Fox said. “For instance, facilities in Wisconsin currently produce ultrasound, ventilators, CT, X-ray and MRI systems.”
In addition to the Sustainable Healthcare Solutions business unit, GE Healthcare says it has a long track record in developing innovations for emerging markets. For example, it says its handheld ultrasound device Vscan Access and its Lullaby infant warmer are improving outcomes in remote rural settings in maternal infant care, a major focus area for many emerging markets.
The low-cost health care equipment sector alone is now estimated to be worth over $8 billion, according to GE Healthcare, and it is growing significantly as developing countries continue to invest in effective, long-term health care solutions to improve the health of their populations.
“SHS will leverage GE’s Fastworks methodology to accelerate, test and rapidly commercialize relevant, affordable technologies. By taking this ‘start-up’ model approach we can rapidly test new ideas, products and services to maximize effectiveness for customers before we scale up,” said Terri Bresenham, president and CEO of the Sustainable Healthcare Solutions unit. “From basic primary care delivery through to more complex, structural health care challenges, SHS will aim to combine GE Healthcare’s capabilities and scale with the local know-how and expertise of our partners across Africa, Southeast Asia, India and South Asia.”