Health Policy

Hungary signs e-health deal with GE Healthcare

The Hungarian government has awarded GE Healthcare a EUR 3.3m (USD 4.2m) deal to lead a project on developing telecare services for elderly citizens. A consortium led by GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Company, will develop new ways of monitoring the health of elderly people in their own homes. GE Healthcare will invest an additional EUR 850,000 (USD 1.1m) in the programme. The consortium will employ 71 researchers and associates, and will create 23 new jobs in Hungary. Under the three year programme, researchers from industry and academia will develop integrated systems and processes for the remote monitoring of the health of elderly citizens, particularly those who suffer from neurological conditions such as stroke, dementia and depression. The Hungarian government is investing in e-health telecare services to help meet health needs linked to changing demographics. Hungary faces a population that is both ageing and declining, expected to drop from 10m today to 8.4m by 2050, by when over 30% are expected to be over 65. The GE-led consortium will also research and develop remote telemonitoring systems that monitor both activity levels and vital signs such as blood pressure and heart rate, alerting caregivers to changes that may signal potential health issues or emergency situations. Research will focus on the potential benefits of home health monitoring for elderly patients with chronic health problems such as stroke, depression and dementia. The Consortium aims to identify activity patterns and physiological symptoms that may remotely predict onset of disease, diagnose a condition earlier, identify problems such as a relapse or detect a worsening of a condition. In addition to GE, the consortium includes two Hungarian healthcare companies, Mednet 2000 and Meditech, together with the University of Pannonia at Veszprem, the University of Szeged and the Budapest Tech Polytechnical Institution. Hungary already has advanced prototype remote health monitoring networks installed in towns and cities across the country, which the Consortium will use as a basis for further development. Dr. K


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