menu

Managing Health Data

  • According to GE, hospitals generate nearly 50 petabytes of data every year. More than four million units are deployed worldwide to assist with mobile medicine, monitoring and diagnostic services, generating nearly 16,000 images every minute. Photograph by sudok1/iStock/Getty Images
  • Edison applications are devised to make health care data secure and more accessible to establish better patient care and outcomes. Photograph by boggy22/iStock/Getty Images

A bulk of the technical development work for GE Healthcare’s Edison AI-based health care platform takes place in India, where the company invests a big proportion of its R&D spends.


It is something that we pay little attention to, but the minute we check in for a doctor’s visit, we start generating data. This data is an important component of our health care system and must be accessible to the right people at the right time.  

To help hospitals ensure that the management of this data is as flawless as possible, GE Healthcare designed the Edison intelligence platform to achieve greater efficiency, improve patient outcomes, and increase access to care.  

Edison helps leverage artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning algorithms to identify insights, patterns and suggestions to enhance clinical, financial and operational decision-making. According to GE, hospitals generate nearly 50 petabytes of data every year. More than four million units are deployed worldwide to assist with mobile medicine, monitoring and diagnostic services, generating nearly 16,000 images every minute.  

Interestingly, a bulk of the technical development work for Edison takes place in India, where GE Healthcare invests a large proportion of its research and development (R&D) spends of about $1 billion in developing Edison and other digital technologies.  

In 2020, The Economic Times reported that Nalinikanth Gollagunta, global chief operating officer of GE Healthcare Digital, has said that the bulk of this programming will be “led by our engineers and we will be hiring 100 people dedicated to this by the end of this year.”  

Secure applications 

The Edison suite has many applications that work on different aspects of data management. Organizations do not have to make special changes to their existing systems because Edison applications are created to accommodate and work with data with different sources. Each of these applications are devised to make health care data secure and more accessible to establish better patient care and outcomes. For example, the Edison Datalogue enables electronic medical records to “provide 360˚ holistic patient imaging and multimedia patient records to help enhance clinician productivity and patient outcomes.”  

Debbie Balsic, director for clinical operational informatics at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, explains how this works: “The nurse can open the wound up, take any pictures and record what they need to, upload it directly from their phone, so it can go right into the patient’s record and be available rapidly, so that the next person can see exactly what the wound looks like.”  

Data security 

The Edison Datalogue is constructed to work with different platforms, and this makes “it possible to share and interact with virtually any enterprise or community archive.” Security of data is an important aspect of the entire platform and the Edison Datalogue, with Centricity™ Universal Viewer Zero Footprint, makes viewing and patient information more accessible by allowing clinicians to view the data from supported browsers and mobile devices, thus increasing operational efficiency. Edison Datalogue is also equipped with a media manager that, apart from other features, offers data protection by ensuring that no confidential patient data is left on mobile devices and automatically locking-out unattended devices.  

“Edison Datalogue Insights allows us to see which department and exams require process improvements to provide that critical clinical information,” says Chuck Sandoval, Enterprise PACS program manager at University of Washington Medicine, “while also helping us to understand, project and create an IT infrastructure plan for future budgetary cycles.”  

The Edison platform has over 50 applications, with new ones being added. For example, the CardIQ Flow is designed to provide “a PET Cardiac solution that integrates perfusion, function, viability, CFR and coronary flow capacity maps.” It is waiting for approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is not yet available for sale in the country. The Edison Developer Program helps GE work with other independent software vendors (ISVs) and creators to set up applications on this platform and drive its growth globally.  

Toward more collaborations  

GE has about 2,300 engineers at its development center in Bengaluru, where most of the tech development takes place. Edison[X] is GE Healthcare’s first global start-up collaboration program centered on the Edison platform, which will help start-ups collaborate on solutions that can be marketed to GE.  

In June 2020, GE Healthcare said it would partner with five start-ups for Edison. “The program, Edison[X], kicked off in August last year and shortlisted five start-ups—Synapsica, DeepTek, 5C Network, ORBO AI and Predible—which will now be onboarded onto the Edison platform,” reported The Economic Times. The selected start-ups will also work to create solutions to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  

 

Paromita Pain is an assistant professor of Global Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno.