GE Healthcare Spinoff: EHR Market Impact?

GE Healthcare Logo

The announcement that General Electric would spin off its healthcare unit and operate it as a separate company affects the EHR market impact, according to market research firm Kalorama Information. While the $19 billion unit of the General Electric Co. Worldwide, is much more focused on diagnostic imaging and the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals, the company’ EHR products have 5 percent market share, according to Kalorama’s latest annual study of the market, EMR 2018. The company competes with Cerner, Change Healthcare and Epic in the market for electronic health care records.

“GE Healthcare remains a significant competitor in the EHR Market,” said Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information. “Five percent is large when no one in the market has more than 20. GE isn’t a pure EHR competitor as their software is integrated, but they do compete.”

Kalorama estimates that eight percent of GE Healthcare revenues come from information technology sales. GE sells integrated systems that include EMR, patient management and billing and also develops IT solutions that intertwine with its imaging systems. The company’s Centricity Advance is a fully integrated EMR, practice management, and patient self-service portal solution that is designed to meet the needs of smaller practices and primary care physicians. The solution is delivered in a web-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, which takes full advantage of cloud computing technology.

“It’s too early to tell what happens in a non-GE setting,” Carlson said. “In health care we’ve seen companies thrive on their own, when they lose the parent company and non-health care management. But we’ve also seen companies go into revenue purgatory.”

One possible signal of that the former might be the case is that the company’s EMR product is constantly improving. Recently the company added – Centricity Cloud Advanced Visualization – this app will manage image post-processing and allow radiologists and clinicians to view advanced 3-D images anytime anywhere, as well as Centricity Image Access Portal – this app will provide affiliated and non-affiliated physicians with longitudinal patient imaging data, potentially improving turnaround times for patient reports. In July 2017, GE Healthcare acquired Novia Strategies to expand its clinical consulting capabilities and in October 2017, the company received certification for Carequality to enable seamless data sharing by its ambulatory EHR customers with thousands of hospitals, physician practices, payer networks, vendors and consumer services.

May 2017, the company entered into a 10-year collaboration with Partners Healthcare to integrate AI into its platform. Additionally, the companies will co-develop an open platform on which Partners HealthCare, GE Healthcare and third-party developers can rapidly prototype, validate and share the apps with hospitals and clinics.

GE indicated the unit will run as usual until the unit is spun off, at which time the company plans to take 20 percent of the proceeds and distribute the rest to shareholders.