Didier Deltort on GE Healthcare’s dynamic solutions

Didier Deltort, General Manager of New Economy Award-winner GE Healthcare Monitoring Solutions, explains how pioneering initiatives are helping patients, caregivers and the community

A Carescape B850 monitor in ICU. GE Healthcare has developed its patient monitoring solutions to cater for two technology trends - the development of IT and network computing, and the miniaturisation of sensing and wireless technology

We are living through a period in which the whole healthcare sector is going through a radical transformation: one in which GE Healthcare can be a driving force and a contributor. Hospital healthcare costs are linked to the care of the critically ill, fuelled by an increasing number of the general population in developed countries being diagnosed with chronic conditions.

From an economic standpoint, healthcare spending and reimbursement policies are not offsetting the demand shortage and nearly all institutions have found themselves forced to investigate new solutions for resource optimisation. These range from avoiding conventional hospitalisation (through the development of ambulatory and/or day care surgery), improving triage and intensive care units’ downstream capabilities, and strategies for shortening hospitalisation and length of stay (e.g. early mobilisation, sedation management, haemodynamic management, non-invasive ventilation and early weaning, nosocomial infection prevention). Ultimately, it is believed, only acute patients will make it into hospital for efficient, high-quality care and fast recovery, before being returned home and to the community.

Supportive technology
We at GE Healthcare are developing our patient monitoring solutions with the changing healthcare landscape in mind, while also taking into account two technology trends that are bound to reshape it in a profound manner: the development of IT and network computing, and the miniaturisation of sensing and wireless technology. This combination has the potential to create ubiquitous and intelligent monitoring capabilities and to support caregivers in their efforts to drive quality and efficient care in challenging environments.

GE Healthcare aims to create effortless and un-obstructive technology, which will bring patients, caregivers and families closer together, while providing the right information to the right person at the right time. Dealing with large amounts of data is a challenge for caregivers that we are addressing by cutting down on nuisance alarms, and by turning data into clinical decision support tools.


Start-ups housed at GE’s Health Innovation Village

Our Carescape portfolio is developed for that purpose. It spans the entire hospital care continuum and beyond, while retaining clinical depth in every care area, from the emergency department to the operating theatres, from the intensive care units to the step down units and wards.

Our growth trajectory in monitoring solutions, as for the whole of GE Healthcare, relies on our ability to stay ahead of the curve with a continuous output of meaningful innovations focused on our customers’ needs, and on delivering better outcomes. For this, we’re leveraging our broad footprint as a global organisation, with five research and development sites across the globe, and a diverse sales and marketing team connected to local markets. This has worked well for us, with 10 percent growth last year in the US and in several emerging regions.

Quick and simple
We are also harnessing GE Healthcare’s corporate initiatives to accelerate the necessary reinvention of ourselves. We are trying to create a culture of simplification. This defines the way we make decisions, work together and work with our customers. It means we are driving decisions closer to markets and making our teams accountable for outcomes, not processes. As the world becomes more digitised it generates more information about products and services, and speeds up processes. Competing like a software company is a requirement, i.e. with short product life cycles and rapid decision-making. That is the meaning of GE Healthcare’s FastWorks framework, building on the lean start-up approach. ‘Agile’ software development, with ‘sprints’ (quick deliverables) and fast learning, is being rolled out across our Monitoring Solutions division.

I also see a huge potential for our monitoring business to leverage GE Healthcare’s far-reaching vision of the ‘Industrial Internet’: the internet of things. Predix is GE Healthcare’s software platform for the Industrial Internet. Predix enables operations optimisation by providing a standard way to run industrial-scale analytics: it connects machines, data and people. That is exactly the type of efficiency the healthcare sector is in dire need of if it is to provide quality care to an increasing number of patients in a restrictive, cost-contained environment. Predix combines an industry-leading stack of technologies for distributed computing, big data analytics, asset data management, machine-to-machine communication, and mobility.

Didier Deltort, General Manager of GE Healthcare Monitoring Solutions
Didier Deltort, General Manager of GE Healthcare Monitoring Solutions

Predix will be at the heart of our Monitoring Solutions’ portfolio, and we intend to leverage its power to the full. Applying big data analytics to real-time clinical data has the potential, for instance, to get us from reactive to proactive monitoring. Detecting patterns of change within multi-parameter streams of data would lead to predictive alerting, going beyond what can be immediately perceived by clinicians.

This opens up the ability to expand monitoring without increasing alarm fatigue for the caregivers. It is now clearly established that continuous monitoring in the wards would increase patient safety by catching unexpected events ahead of time. Combining miniaturised monitoring technology with powerful analytics will be the game-changer.

This important transformation is not something we’ll be doing on our own. Success will come through building a comprehensive ecosystem of players, and we recognise in particular the creative energy of start-up companies.

We are conducting such an initiative in Finland, where we have a significant healthcare footprint. We call this the Health Innovation Village, and it brings together a number of digital health startups (which we helped co-locate on our Helsinki premises) as a technology campus: a village, a community, a support network and a symbol of cooperation.

This is part of our push to foster a creative, open and collaborative culture, where innovation is sparked through connection, learning and trust. And this is proving a win-win experience, where start-ups benefit from the connection to an industry leader, with deep-rooted expertise in healthcare, and our employees get exposed to the start-ups’ entrepreneurial spirit.