GE, Intel partner on telehealth venture

Intel and GE will form a joint venture focused on monitoring chronic and age-related diseases and delivering health-related services remotely, the companies announced Monday.

The agreement calls for the formation of a 50-50 joint venture that will create a new telehealth company combining the assets of GE Healthcare’s Home Health division and Intel’s Digital Health Group. It will be owned equally by GE and Intel.

“We must rethink models of care that go beyond hospital and clinic visits, to home and community-based care models that allow for prevention, early detection, behavior change, and social support,” said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini in a statement. “The creation of this new company is aimed at accelerating just that.”

GE Chairman of the Board and CEO Jeff Immelt added: “Controlling health care costs while bringing quality care to an increasingly aging population is one of the largest global challenges we face today.”

Last year, the companies made an analogous announcement when they formed an alliance to market and develop home-based health technologies for seniors. At that time, the companies said they would jointly invest $250 million over five years for the research and product development of related technologies.

Intel already offers a number of health care-related products, including the Intel Health Guide for remotely monitoring chronically ill patients. GE is one of the world’s largest medical equipment suppliers and a leading manufacturer of medical imaging equipment.

The new company will have headquarters in the Sacramento, Calif., area. Louis Burns, currently vice president and general manager of Intel’s Digital Health Group, will be the CEO of the new company, and Omar Ishrak, senior vice president of GE and president and CEO, GE Healthcare Systems, will be chairman of the board, the companies said Monday.

Pending regulatory and other customary closing conditions, the joint venture is expected to become operational by the end of the year. Financial terms were not disclosed.