Evren Eryurek, GE Healthcare Software Chief Technology Officer
The Industrial Internet represents an open, global ecosystem of highly intelligent machines that connect, communicate and cooperate with each other and people
Interview with Evren Eryurek, GE Healthcare Software Chief Technology Officer
1. GE Healthcare just announced a $2B investment in software development over the next five years. From your vantage point, what does this investment mean for GE Healthcare’s software strategy?
A critical goal of our software strategy is to build solutions that deliver greater clinical and operational value to our customers. To enable us to deliver this value faster, we’re shifting to using one common software platform across all GE Healthcare current and future products and services. The goal would be for all the applications we build across the business then to leverage this platform for greater efficiency and consistency.
This investment will help us build on our platform strategy and accelerate the development of innovative software that drives meaningful and real-time insights for healthcare organizations. Software is critical to lead the transformation we are seeing in the healthcare industry today, and I’m so excited that we’ll be at the forefront of developing not only products, but new solutions, systems and architectures that our customers and the healthcare industry needs.
2. What are the most critical challenges our customers face, and how will this investment target those needs?
The most critical challenge our customers face is the operational complexity of the healthcare system. This complexity is revealed through different needs: a need to maximize equipment performance, improve hospital operations, improve clinical effectiveness, and strengthen care delivery across populations.
GE is investing in software and analytics to better help our customers manage these complexities, by connecting caregivers in a meaningful way to the systems they rely on, thus enabling them to deliver better informed diagnoses and improved care.
Our software investments will help our customers in managing their:
– Assets: By improving operational efficiency
– People: Being able to facilitate staff productivity, provide better resources, and properly allocate schedule times
– Processes: Automating operations that previously were manual
Often, our healthcare customers are faced with disparate IT platforms, with a variety of servers and databases. In addition, their clinicians many times deal with broken workflows for healthcare data analysis, lack of interoperability between healthcare IT systems, and a less-than-desirable user experience as they work tirelessly to deliver care. Investments GE Healthcare is making will address those challenges and enable our customers to improve their operations, asset management, and workflow effectiveness as well as to deliver consistent care especially to large patient populations.
From a cost-savings standpoint, the global cost of healthcare inefficiency is at least $731 billion per year. A 1 percent improvement in efficiency would lead to $63 billion global healthcare savings over 15 years.
3. Over the past few months, we’ve been hearing these terms a lot: “Industrial Internet, and “Big data”. Could you tell us in your own words what these terms mean to you, and what they will mean for GE Healthcare’s future?
The Industrial Internet represents an open, global ecosystem of highly intelligent machines that connect, communicate and cooperate with each other and people, leading to breakthrough levels of efficiency and productivity. Just like the internet transformed communication years ago, the Industrial Internet is turning the lines of communication between the caregiver and the patient from a winding dirt road into an express highway. Integrated, easy-to-translate systems will transform how caregivers work and provide patient care overall. GE Healthcare’s Industrial Internet mission is to connect caregivers in a meaningful way to the systems they rely on. Our $2B investment is key to accomplishing this mission.
Big Data simply means putting the right information into the hands of the right decision-makers at the right time and helping them make sense of it. Healthcare has always been about “big data” and even more so now. For instance, when we refer to big data and EMR data, we sometimes don’t realize what it encompasses. But think about all the X-rays, CT scans, MRIs and lab reports done every day, think about digital pathology and images of those samples, and now think about even genomics data that is becoming more mainstream for predictive analysis. The insights that are yet to be unlocked within this data hold the answers to many unknowns that medicine has been dealing with for decades. Because if we cannot integrate the data captured by tests, scans and technology, then clinicians won’t have what they need to prevent, diagnose, treat and cure disease in patients.
Together, with the help of industry partners, GE Healthcare’s 3000+ software engineers and GE’s Software Centers of Excellence across the globe, GE Healthcare will provide flexible and connected software, data and analytics so caregivers have what they need to prevent, diagnose, treat and cure new health challenges patients face every day. It is thrilling to think about the opportunities that lie ahead when it comes to big data and analytics.
4. There are many large and small companies trying to tackle the same thing. What makes GE Healthcare different?
GE Healthcare is different because no other company in the world has the combination of GE’s best in class hardware, massive installed base, and record of service. There is no better way for GE to meet our customer’s demands for reliability, efficiency, and productivity, than to enable the machines we build to have analytical intelligence to predict and prevent problems. This allows us to get the right information to right people, at the right time.
Big Data alone will not transform how industries work. GE has the Big Data and healthcare technology to extract and make sense of data where it never existed before. With technology producing Big Data, GE is enabling People at Work – building connections between machines and between machines and people so that the information knows when and where to go; automating decisions that make business processes run faster and facilitating the proactive delivery of key information to predict performance issues.