GE Healthcare launches cloud service

Company touts clinical collaboration made simple
By Bernie Monegain
09:50 AM
Centricity 360 is a professional online collaboration tool for clinicians

Leveraging the Industrial Internet to better impact patient outcomes, GE Healthcare launched Centricity 360, a cloud service that the company calls "a GE Predictivity solution."

GE executives say Centricity 360 streamlines clinical collaboration among unaffiliated caregivers and patients to help reduce duplicate testing, avoid unnecessary patient transfers and lower diagnostic imaging distribution costs.

"In our digitally wired world, a 12-year-old can share images and information instantaneously, but your doctor lacks the tools to do the same," Jan De Witte, president and CEO, GE Healthcare IT and Performance Solutions, said in a news release. With the new solution, "your doctor can liberate the information he or she needs to exchange patient data and images with your care team, who in turn can make fast care decisions, regardless of location."

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Centricity 360 is a professional online collaboration tool for clinicians, De Witte said. Through a suite of on-demand medical imaging applications, distributed care teams can collaborate on patient cases in near-real time. Because the applications and the collaboration tools are available through an enterprise-grade cloud services platform, there is no upfront investment required from clinical users, patients or integrated delivery networks.

[See also: GE Healthcare puts up $2B to invent.]

"Connecting efficiently with our referral network and giving our clinicians easy access to data without having to send a CD is essential to achieving the best outcomes for patients," said Dave Roach, vice president of IT and CIO at Kadlec Health System in Washington State, a Centricity 360 collaboration partner, in a company press statement. "We are excited to work with GE Healthcare to make significant advances in enhancing patient care."

GE executives say there's a high price to pay for missed information. Diagnoses are based on patient information. How that information is shared matters, they said in a news release.

For example, healthcare providers share images via CDs. These CDs get damaged or lost 22 percent of the time. Missing or incorrect information can lead to unnecessary testing and medical procedures and longer hospital stays. More easily accessible and shareable patient data helps clinicians to make more informed diagnoses.

Studies suggest that clinician access to prior images can reduce repeat imaging within 24 hours by 17 percent, lowering costs. If a one percent improvement in productivity were achieved, it would drive significant cost savings.

Taking secure cloud capabilities to a new level
GE Healthcare manages more than 30 billion images and 130 million patient cases worldwide, according to the company. It's also one of the leading vendors of vendor neutral archiving by volume of studies, according to a report by industry analyst HIS. It stores more than 165 million studies or about 45 percent of all study volume in 2012 globally.

Centricity 360 gives caregivers easy tools to exchange images and join private communities where they can engage in ongoing diagnosis and treatment discussions.

GE Healthcare bills Centricity 360 as the first solution of its kind, supplying IT managers with virtually limitless storage and computing resources to process data.

[See also: Microsoft and GE Healthcare get regulatory approval to form Caradigm.]

"In critical care situations, speed is of the essence," said Mike Jackman, vice president and general manager, specialty solutions, GE Healthcare IT,"but that speed must be secure. Centricity 360 addresses patient privacy with strong encryption protocols for data at rest and in transit."

The product is available now for select pilot customers in the United States. GE Healthcare unveiled the offering Dec. 2 at the conference of the Radiological Association of North America in Chicago.

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