US computer chip-maker Intel Corp and industrial giant General Electric (GE) on Thursday announced plans to team up in home health technology, a sector expected to see rapid growth in coming years.
Intel and GE said they were investing US$250 million over the next five years into research and development of home-based health technologies.
The companies said they were forming an alliance to develop products that would help seniors live independently and patients with chronic conditions manage their care from home or elsewhere.
They said they would expand their current efforts to include “new areas such as fall prevention, medication compliance, sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and personal wellness monitoring.”
They also said that GE’s health unit would sell and market the Intel Health Guide, a tool designed for healthcare professionals managing patients with chronic conditions.
“With the dramatic increase of people with chronic conditions and an aging population there is a need to extend care from the hospital to the home,” the companies said in a statement.
They said the market for telehealth and home health monitoring was expected to grow to an estimated US$7.7 billion by 2012.
“Improving healthcare accessibility and reducing costs are essential to economic recovery and growth,” said GE chairman and chief executive Jeff Immelt.
“We think this partnership offers the potential to lower costs by keeping people out of hospitals while giving health professionals the data they need to deliver the best possible care,” Immelt said.