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GE enters home healthcare monitoring market

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GE Healthcare announced recently an agreement with privately held Living Independently Group Inc., a provider of a wireless monitoring system to distribute monitors to seniors and develop new applications. Financial terms were not disclosed. Omar Ishrak, President and Chief Executive of GE Healthcare’s clinical systems business, said the market for home monitors is now valued at about USD 500 million, but could grow to as much as USD 5 billion in 10 years, he said. The monitors, which are attached to walls in homes and assisted living centers, track the movement of elderly people who live alone, providing alerts if seniors fall or have medical emergencies. John L. Lakian, CEO of New York-based Living Independently Group, said the monitors operate without cameras and are noninvasive. GE Healthcare expects its distribution and research to be one of the “principal building blocks” to enter the growing home market, Ishrak said. The industrial and commercial conglomerate also is banking on future applications that could advance the technology. GE’s Global Research Center in Niskayuna, N.Y., will work to develop monitors that track a person’s weight and blood pressure, follow a senior’s slowing walk and collect other data used for disease management. “If you look into the future, more and more care is provided in the home, though this market is small now,” Ishrak said. “The opportunity for growth is there.”

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