Intel, GE Launch Care Innovations Telehealth Platform for Portable Devices

Care Innovations, an Intel/GE joint venture, has rolled out a telehealth platform to boost remote communications between patients and doctors on multiple consumer devices.

Care Innovations, a joint venture between Intel and GE Health Care, has launched a commercial version of the Intel-GE Care Innovations Guide, a telehealth platform that provides patients with portability while receiving remote care from physicians on multiple commercial off-the-shelf products, including desktops, laptops, netbooks, tablets and all-in-one devices.

"What we've done with the COTS [commercial off-the-shelf] offering is create literally thousands of platforms that the software can run on," Greg Hooper, Care Innovations' marketing manager for disease management, told eWEEK.

"Because the Guide software on the patient side is on an off-the-shelf device, it allows them portability in and around their surroundings, so they're not tethered to a single device that sits on a table all the time," Hooper explained. "They can move around with the device or even outside the home with the device and still maintain connectivity with that data center on the back end, thus their care providers."

It enables an interactive exchange between doctor and patient. Among the chronic conditions doctors can monitor using the Guide include COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), CHF (chronic heart failure) and diabetes, according to Hooper.

Announced on May 2, Care Innovations Guide incorporates elements of the Intel Health Guide, which previously offered the PHS6000 in-home telehealth device and Health Care Management Suite.

The product will be sold to various types of health care organizations, from physicians and long-term care agencies to health insurance companies.

"The industry must evolve to a state of virtual care coordination, an interactive endeavor that transforms the way that patients, clinicians and technology interact, and commercial availability of the next-generation Guide is a critical step in that evolution," Louis Burns, chief executive officer of Care Innovations, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, telehealth provider Virtual Health has begun using the Care Innovations Guide to allow seniors and high-risk mothers to access health and wellness services remotely through a subscription Web service.

"We believe personalization is the key to engaging patients in their care," Bradford Perkins, founder of Virtual Health, said in a statement. "We chose the Guide above other options due to its patient-engagement capabilities, integrated video conferencing options, flexible form factors and open platform to personalize care for each population. The combination of state-of-the-art technology and a responsive national care network addresses a huge need that we see daily in both our professional and personal lives."

The Guide application is available solely on Windows 7 devices, but Care Innovations is evaluating the possibility of additional platforms.

"We're continuing to evaluate all of the other devices on the marketplace," Hooper said. "But our initial offering is on any Windows 7-based platforms."

The service can be used with devices that have an SD slot, and patients can communicate with doctors using a Webcam. The Guide also works with medical devices such as blood pressure monitors, glucose meters, pulse oximeters, peak flow meters and weight scales.

It features a six-button interface that allows patients to interact with physicians and view their biometric data, Hooper said.

Meanwhile, Care Innovations' Virtual Care Suite will allow clinicians' to manage their workflow and the various devices connecting to the Guide. In addition, Virtual Care integrates data from Guide telehealth interactions into patients' EHRs (electronic health records).

Launched on Jan. 3, Care Innovations combines products from GE Healthcare's Home Health division and Intel's Digital Health Group focused on elder care and people living with chronic conditions.