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Geisinger sees opportunity in new apps

Here's an interesting new business line from one widely known health system: Geisinger Health System will seek to market downloadable quality and efficiency applications as part of the organization's new research, development and evaluation center.

The new Geisinger Center for Health Care Transformation will organize and prioritize research under way at the Danville, Pa.-based system in conjunction with app development, said Dr. Earl Steinberg, who joined Geisinger nearly a year ago as executive vice president of innovation and dissemination. “We're going to concentrate in areas where we have strengths,” he said.

The efforts will coordinate studies by established clinical, technology and research departments within the health system, he said.

App development began eight months ago and will focus on products to improve the reliability of healthcare, he said, such as apps that can be used by clinicians with an electronic medical record.

The undertaking, however, has met with technological hurdles. Namely: the diverse and incompatible software used across the nation's health systems. Steinberg said development efforts have sought a means to make apps compatible across software systems.

Geisinger will hire its own software developers and work with outside companies to develop apps, he said.

The system will also seek to become a test site for emerging technology. “Everything doesn't have to be homegrown,” he said.

You can follow Melanie Evans on Twitter: @MHmevans.

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