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People depend on hospitals to help them navigate some of life’s most deep, and personal challenges: health issues that disrupt their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Hospitals, in turn, must invest in life-saving diagnostics and care technologies, which are increasingly sophisticated and often expensive. So hospitals turn to GE Healthcare and HPE to help them select, implement and support technology solutions, while minimising the impact on hospital budgets and resources.
Worldwide, people and the governments that serve them are grappling with the complex problem of health care costs. Populations are growing but also aging: every year, there are more people who need care but fewer people of working age to help pay for it. Advancements in research, diagnostics and treatment protocols are delivering new hope on countless medical fronts. However, many of these same advancements – breakthrough drugs, complex equipment, specialised protocols that draw on emerging research – carry additional potential to increase healthcare costs.
This puts hospitals in a difficult position. It would be inhumane to reduce costs by cutting back on care options or quality. There is also a limit to how much patients (or taxpayers, in cases where governments fund healthcare services) can afford to pay for healthcare.
Hospitals must therefore find ways to maintain high standards for patient care while also relentlessly seeking to minimise their costs.
GE Healthcare, a subsidiary of General Electric, is an American pharmaceutical company and medical equipment manufacturer headquartered in Chicago. The company provides medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, bio pharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance solutions services. GE Healthcare’s mission is to deliver better care, to more people around the world, at a lower cost.
To deliver healthcare today, hospitals must coordinate highly complex workflows, across multiple teams of caregivers, under time constraints that are often non-negotiable. Hospitals leverage medical technology to assist every step in the delivery of care – from managing patient and clinical records, to diagnostics, communications and delivery of treatments. However, no two hospitals are identical. Each hospital requires medical, communications and information technology that is tailored to its specific requirements.
Hospital clinicians depend on Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACs), for example, to transmit and store radiology and cardiology images, diagnose patients and foster collaboration within clinical teams. But each hospital has unique constraints on how its PACs systems can be located, installed and configured. Some hospitals are housed in older buildings; the space for modern medical equipment may be limited. Each hospital is likely to have unique requirements affecting how its PACs is integrated with other systems as well, including its network and its electronic medical records platform.
And while hospitals depend on technology, their primary focus is diagnosing and treating patients. They must avoid solutions that require them to divert precious resources to managing technology instead of delivering healthcare.
Medical technology, and the hospital eco-systems that surround them, have become increasingly complex.
Hospitals need solutions that shield their end users – clinicians, care providers and clinical support staff – from that complexity. GE Healthcare and HPE understand that. They’re partnering on healthcare solutions that draw on cutting-edge IT concepts, such as Software-Defined Infrastructure, containerisation and edge computing that make technology more usable and manageable.
One example is GE Healthcare’s PACs solutions, which integrate imaging technology with HPE servers. In many hospital settings, significant constraints affect how PACs systems can be sited and integrated with other hospital systems. To address this, GE Healthcare and HPE are refining the company’s PACs offerings to create “PACs in a box”-style solutions. Featuring a small footprint and self-contained architecture, these systems can be dropped into virtually any hospital or clinical setting quickly and cost-effectively. GE Healthcare’s PACs systems are also bundled with HPE Pointnext services to deliver turnkey configuration, implementation, and support.
By making it simpler and easier for hospitals to implement, manage and access medical technology, GE Healthcare and HPE are creating healthcare technologies that accommodate the requirements and constraints facing hospitals and other healthcare providers, including clinics and imaging organisations.
GE Healthcare Centricity™ PACS and Universal Viewer products, for example, boost efficiency and save radiologists’ time compared to other PACs solutions. These gains, in turn, improve patient care by compressing diagnosis and treatment workflows.
Next generation solutions like "PACs in a box"-style systems will build on these benefits with reduced system costs and space requirements.
These considerations are particularly important to smaller providers (imaging organisations with volumes of 100-350k exams per year) which may lack space for larger PACs configurations. By making it easier for these organisations to implement PACs, GE Healthcare and HPE are helping to expand the way imaging organisations can serve the needs of their patients – a critical consideration to improving the affordability and accessibility of healthcare.
GE Healthcare and HPE are collaborating to deliver increasingly sophisticated medical technology solutions.
These include "PACs in a box"-style systems that integrate compute, storage and networking hardware with GE Healthcare PACs technology and services from HPE Pointnext, including installation of the solution’s networkattached storage (NAS) and embedded HPE Foundation Care.