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Taking a Look at the GE Health Cloud

Despite the amount of interconnectivity seen in the 21st century, the healthcare industry is still experiencing some shortcomings. Patients who switch doctors, for example, may find that their new physician is unable to access their old records that have been stored on alternative, old or archaic recordkeeping systems. This often results in patients having to repeat tests and examinations which they've already undergone.

Moreover, the lack of standardized access to such data can have much greater consequences. According to a recent survey, as many as 35% of patients are misdiagnosed, some of which can be attributed to the inability to access prior medical history. GE hopes their new cloud will play a key role in saving the healthcare industry approximately $30 billion per year by eliminating the need for repeat tests and minimizing the chance for misdiagnosis or error.

Chairman and CEO of GE, Jeff Immelt, spoke highly about the new GE Health Cloud. He was quoted as saying: " Our ultimate goal is to help improve patient care and drive superior clinical, financial and operational outcomes alongside healthcare providers. As the digital industrial leader, we are betting big on the GE Health Cloud. By connecting clinicians with the insights needed, when and where they need them, clinicians can take action to improve healthcare outcomes and delivery around the globe."

Diagnosing the Problem

In an effort to help curb this problem, the team with GE recently unveiled the GE Health Cloud. First announced to the public in November 2015 at the 101st annual Radiological Society of North American (RSNA) conference, which was held in Chicago, the new initiative provides a highly accessible, secure and user-friendly platform the storage and sharing of critical patient data.

John Flannery, president and CEO of GE Healthcare, spoke briefly about the enormous amounts of data being generated in the healthcare sector alone. He said: "Healthcare devices are generating enormous amounts of data, and that data is expected to increase 50-fold by 2020. The GE Health Cloud can help unlock the value of this data, quickly and seamlessly for better patient care. The GE Health Cloud will help clinicians turn data into insights, and insights into tangible actions for decision-makers to drive better outcomes."

Facilitating Access

The rollout of the GE Health Cloud, which is quite extensive, will ultimately see more than 500,000 GE imaging devices connected to the cloud. Since any post-processing will be performed by the cloud, and because the resulting 3D images are viewable from a multitude of different devices, healthcare professionals will be able to achieve an unprecedented level of access. Moreover, they'll be able to cut down on the high costs associated with hosting internal, large-scale storage systems on their own.

GE's recent announcement went on to include details about a number of specialized apps that are specific to the GE Health Cloud, including Cloud Advanced Visualization, Multi-Disciplinary Team Virtual Meeting, Case Exchange and Image Access Portal. All of these apps are powered by Centricity, a popular brand of healthcare IT software from GE, and they can be used to maximize the benefits of the GE Health Cloud.

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