The new company, which aims to create a performance management suite of products, will be led be GE Healthcare IT executive Michael Simpson. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, although a GE Healthcare IT spokesman said the joint venture is a 50/50 partnership between the two companies.
"The global healthcare challenges of access, cost and quality of care delivery are creating a new focus on the performance and accountability of healthcare delivery systems—in every country, at every level of care," GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt said in a news release. "This venture will demonstrate what is possible when leading companies with complementary capabilities work together to meet a common goal."
GE Healthcare IT's connectivity business unit will become part of the new company, according to the spokesman. The unit's product offerings include GE's health information exchange, a clinical knowledge project and the imaging exchange.
In addition, Microsoft's enterprise health intelligence platform, single sign-on and context management technology and single sign-on tool will be included in the joint venture, according to the release.
The new company is expected to operate globally and will be based near Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Wash. The GE Healthcare IT spokesman said the joint venture expects to employ 700 staff from both companies on the first day of operation. Simpson, currently vice president and general manager at GE Healthcare IT, will serve as CEO and will report to the new company's board of directors.
The joint venture's product suite developed by the new company is expected to address healthcare-associated infections, chronic disease management, and other "critical problems in the healthcare system," according to the news release.
"One of the challenges facing healthcare today is that we’re caught between the way healthcare is practiced today and the way healthcare will be practiced tomorrow," said Brandon Savage, GE Healthcare IT chief medical officer, in an interview. "Where a lot of healthcare institutions struggle is having the agility to get through that change. Having something that facilitates innovation across multiple vendors really empowers organizations to change along with healthcare."
The products are expected to target hospitals and health systems, which can then share the technology with providers they work with in the community, said Nate McLemore, general manager of the Microsoft Health Solutions Group.
Pending regulatory approval, McLemore said that the companies expect to share additional information about the joint venture in February and to launch the new company in the spring.