GE acquires API Healthcare in latest "Industrial Internet" move

GE has announced its takeover of software company API Healthcare, describing the move as a part of its “Industrial Internet” strategy and one that will bolster its portfolio of software, data and analytics services.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but GE (Fairfield, CT, USA) said that API Healthcare’s (Hartford, WI, USA) offerings would complement its own portfolio of Hospital Operations Management (HOM) services – provided through its GE Healthcare division – giving hospitals real-time access to operational data.

“Labor costs represent over 50% of hospital operating budgets,” said Michael Swinford, chief executive, GE Healthcare Services. “With this acquisition, GE Healthcare will be able to address a significant portion of hospital operations costs – assets, patients and labor – with a mix of software, real-time data, powerful analytics and professional services.”

The takeover could also help GE to broaden its customer base given that API Healthcare’s services are currently used by more than 1,600 hospitals and staffing agencies in the US.

Following the takeover, GE Healthcare said it would aim to work with hospitals and health systems in the three key areas of asset optimization, patient flow optimization and workforce optimization.

The first two entail the management and tracking of either assets or patients with the aim of lowering healthcare costs and improving efficiency.

But the addition of API Healthcare will, in particular, allow GE to provide greater insight into staffing and scheduling “to help ensure the right staff member is assigned the right patient at the right time”.

“In addition to clinical systems, hospitals need operational management systems to drive enterprise-wide efficiencies, reduce unnecessary costs and enable improved patient care,” said John Dineen, the president of GE Healthcare. “Over the next five to seven years, we believe sales of these systems will accelerate towards double-digit growth and GE Healthcare will lead the way.”

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval but GE expects it to close in the first quarter of 2014, after which API Healthcare is to become a part of GE’s Predictivity Industial Internet portfolio – alongside GE Healthcare’s existing HOM offerings.

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