Another Sign That the Consumer eHealth Market is Heating Up

GE Healthcare, a major player in the medical imaging and clinical information systems market, recently announced a partnership with Intel to develop home healthcare products.    (see http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aCbAm07nbwHs&refer=us for details).  According to the Bloomberg article, “the home health-care market is forecast to outpace growth in the hopital buisness” and cited slow growth in the U.S. imaging equipment market as one reason for GE’s move.

GE’s decision to partner with Intel comes on the heels of IBM’s announcement that is working with Google Health to explore how to get data from home monitoring equipment into Google Health.   Clearly, with this much investment by large players, there is growth in the home healthcare and related Consumer eHealth markets.  As the growth in the more traditional hospital markets slows, major players will turn their attention to growth markets such as EMRs (on the order of 80% of North American physicians don’t have an EMR in their office) and consumer eHealth.

Mike

One response to “Another Sign That the Consumer eHealth Market is Heating Up

  1. It is interesting to see how GE (already in acute, EMRs and imaging) and Intel (infrastructure to everyone) are the vendors making this Consumer announcement. As some markets dry up, both companies are quick to move into new areas that on the surface appear to play to their strengths.

    As far as the issue of the traditional acute care market slowing down, both in Canada and the US…I concur. There is still some room for niche or specialist solutions for acute, but the heady days of greenfields for such things as ADT, Hospital Labs, and even DI are either gone or now a limited market share slugfest. Traditional HIT vendors selling into acute care (Cerner, GE, Intel, McKesson, Meditech, etc) are seeing a slowdown in net new opportunties. My question is not “is their opportunity outside of acute”…I think that is fairly obvious. What is more important is can these “enterprise” companies really succeed in the SME non-acute markets, including primary, outpatient, or even Consumer eHealth. I have always seen the cultural “we sell to the enterprise only” model as the single biggest challenge for these vendors. They seem allergic to selling direct outside of the hospitals, and if you look at the cost of sales this reaction is not surprising.

    In the Canadian market is their any other vendor, other than TELUS, that has ambitions to truly sell across the entire continuum? Will we see acute care HIT vendors (Cerner, McKesson, Meditech, Siemens, etc) stay put in their comfort zone or will they look to the non-acute or even consumer eHealth side of things? Time will tell.

    Mark

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