The medical electronic market continues to heat up as more and more people demand medical electronic solutions. Intel and GE, the two electronic giants formed a joint-venture called Intel-GE Care Innovations. MEDS wanted to find out how it came about and what they wanted to accomplish. Our publisher John Koon interviewed Doug Busch, Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Intel-GE Care Innovations™ on this issue of Interview with the leaders.

Publisher: What is Care Innovations’ vision?

DB: Our mission is to create technology-based solutions that give people confidence to live independently, wherever they are.

Publisher: Intel and GE created this joint venture for a common purpose, how did it all happen?

DB: The idea behind Care Innovations began forming several years ago, when top executives from Intel and GE got together and realized that they shared a common vision of how technology solutions can transform healthcare and independent living. In 2009, the two companies created a joint alliance to market and develop home-based health technologies that would help seniors live independently. This began a strong relationship between Intel and GE, which culminated in the creation of Care Innovations in 2011. The new company combined assets and people from Intel’s Digital Health Group and GE Healthcare’s Home Health Group.

Publisher: What are the biggest challenges in the healthcare industry today? What specific solutions does Care Innovations provide?

DB: The biggest challenge for healthcare is the acceptance of the status quo. Today’s healthcare system operates in the same way that it did back in the late 1700s, when the first hospital was built in Vienna. We accept that we should be traveling to the hospital for care, that we don’t need to be proactive about managing our health, that we react to a crisis instead of trying to prevent it from happening, that face-to-face visits are the only way to see a doctor. It’s time to shake up the healthcare status quo, to start rewarding providers for better health outcomes instead of the number of visits, and to deliver care wherever it makes the most sense.

Care Innovations offers a range of technology-based solutions addressing complex needs in healthcare, senior living, and education. Our four flagship products today are below:

  •  Care Innovations Guide is a virtual care coordination solution that provides an online interface allowing clinicians to monitor patients and remotely manage care.
  •  Care Innovations QuietCare is an advanced motion sensor technology that learns the daily activity patterns of senior community residents and sends alerts when certain out-of-the-ordinary events occur.
  •  Care Innovations Connect is a new wellness communications tool and social networking hub designed to address social isolation in older adults.
  •  Care Innovations Reader is a mobile device that transforms printed text to the spoken word for those with reading-based disabilities or impaired vision.

Publisher: What do you think the biggest change will be in the next few years?

DB: I believe we’ll see a major shift toward models of care and new technologies that can address the full continuum of a person’s healthcare and independent living needs. Today, services and products are too segmented and one-size-fits-all. The coming years will show that technology has the flexibility and openness to adapt to a person’s full range of evolving needs, from social interaction to education to chronic disease management to advanced senior care, in the right place and at the right time. Engaging a broader team of care providers to address these needs in a coordinated way will need to become easier.

Publisher: What is your experience with the FDA 510K clearance process? Any advice to make the clearance process easier?

DB: Our experience with the FDA has been straightforward and easy to navigate. We’ve always approached them as a partner in creating new innovations, not as an obstacle to overcome.

There are three key things to remember when working with the FDA:

  • Understanding the process should be the first step. The FDA hasn’t changed its basic rules, even though new technologies are constantly changing the market. The FDA also has a lot of good information available on its website to help new companies.
  • Companies should stay focused on the problem they’re trying to solve and the end users of the technologies, instead of getting sidetracked by the technology itself. Too many companies try to dazzle the FDA with their technical capabilities, when the real key is to focus on what the technology will do to safely improve public health.
  • Establishing an early dialogue with the FDA is key; this way, companies can quickly understand any potential issues, and can work through these collaboratively.

6. Publisher: The demand for medical products is much greater in Asia as their large aging population will demand care. What is Care Innovations’ international strategy?

DB:  The entire world is facing the impact of a rapidly aging population; it’s not just a U.S. problem. At Care Innovations, we’re enthused to see the Chinese government taking steps to shift care to the home, where it can often be delivered at a lower cost with better results. We’re exploring a variety of opportunities in the Asian market to support the needs of their aging population. We also already have a strong presence in mature Europe and Australia, where customers are using both the Guide and the Reader.

Intel-GE Care Innovations™ is a unique joint venture between Intel Corporation and GE, based on a long history of driving innovation, solving hard problems, and creating new markets.  The company creates technology-based solutions that give people confidence to live independently, wherever they are.  It delivers products and services to support current and future care models in three core areas: disease management, independent living and assistive technologies.  Intel and GE recognized a massive unmet need and business opportunity in these key markets; Care Innovations™ demonstrates their commitment to innovate solutions that transform the way care is delivered and empower consumers to stay independent.