With the desire to deliver better care to more people at lower cost, General Electric recently announced its plan to spend $3 billion over the next six years on health care innovations.  

As part of its “healtymagination” initiative, the company will also commit $2 billion of financing and $1 billion in related GE technology and content to drive health care information technology and health in rural and underserved areas.  According to GE, the campaign is built on the global commitments of reducing costs, improving quality and expanding access for millions of people.  It will focus much of its financing on the adoption of electronic health records and health information exchanges, the company reported.

Specifically, under healthymagination, GE plans to complete a number of tasks by 2015. The company looks to invest $3 billion in research and development to launch at least 100 products that will lower cost, increase access and improve quality by 15 percent. Furthermore, it wishes to work with partners to focus technologies on four critical areas: health care information technology, affordability, access to the underserved and consumer-driven health. Other goals include expanding employee health efforts, increasing the value gap, and actively reporting on its progress.

“This reflects the new opportunities we see in health care,” said Jeffrey R. Imelt, GE chief executive.  Our newest innovations  – low-cost digital x-ray machines, portable ultrasounds, more affordable cardiac equipment – will save costs for doctors, hospitals, the government, families and businesses. This will help level the playing field in health care. With our technology, rural and urban areas and developing countries can have access to the best technology, affordably.

Former U.S. Senator Tom Daschle, who will serve on GE’s healthymagination advisory board, said, “We can only find real solutions in health care when business, government and their partners work together. The commitments GE made today on access, cost, and quality are a great start toward demonstrating their leadership in this debate.”