GE Healthcare invests $3 million In TRIL Centre, Ireland, to develop new technologies for independent living

Dublin 28 April 2010The Technology Research for Independent Living (TRIL) Centre, Ireland has signed up a new industry partner, GE Healthcare. TRIL is a groundbreaking research initiative, founded in January 2007 by Intel Corporation and the Industrial Development Agency (IDA) Ireland, to explore the physical, cognitive and social consequences of ageing and design technologies to help address them. The addition of GE Healthcare as an industry partner will help TRIL to extend and expand its research programme. GE joins the TRIL Centre as its second industry partner for 2010, alongside co-founder Intel and academic partners University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin and NUI Galway. GE Healthcare is investing $3 million in the TRIL Centre.

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"We are excited about welcoming a new industry partner with the technology expertise and stellar reputation of GE Healthcare", stated Dr. Brian Caulfield, Academic Director of the TRIL Centre. "Their focus on innovative thinking and commitment to improving health care while reducing costs will make them a valuable contributor to our research efforts."

A key goal of TRIL's research, which brings together world-class industry and academic experts from multiple disciplines, is to enable older people to live independently in the homes of their choice for as long as possible, with the help of technology - and in the process, to help ease the strain on global health care systems as the world's population ages. This objective aligns with GE Healthcare's goal of continuously developing innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality and efficiency.

Home health is a key business focus for GE Healthcare. The company recently acquired Living Independently Group, a provider of QuietCare, a passive activity monitoring system used to assist in the care of the elderly. The company is also leading a consortium of private and public sector organisations in a $5 million three-year home health research programme funded by the Hungarian government.

In April 2009, GE and Intel announced the formation of a health care alliance to develop and market technologies for independent living and chronic disease management. As part of this alliance, GE Healthcare markets the Intel Health Guide in the United States and the United Kingdom. The Intel Health Guide is a comprehensive personal health system that combines an in-home patient device - the Intel Health Guide PHS6000 - as well as an on-line interface - the Intel Health Care Management Suite - allowing clinicians to monitor patients from their homes and manage care remotely.

Commenting on the announcement, Agnes Berzsenyi, General Manager of GE Healthcare's Home Health business, stated: "We are delighted to be part of the TRIL Centre and to be involved in the groundbreaking research being done there. The world is getting older and this is presenting enormous health care challenges in the care of elderly citizens and the prevention and management of chronic disease. We are looking forward to working with TRIL to drive innovation in this emerging area and ultimately transforming the lives of elderly citizens."

Over the last three years, more than 600 older adults have been assessed in the TRIL Clinic and a large number have participated in the TRIL technology home deployment programme. The commitment of GE Healthcare will enable TRIL to expand the pool of participants and build on the accomplishments of the first three years. The addition of GE Healthcare as an industry partner supports TRIL's strategic vision of securing additional industry partners, from SMEs to multinational companies such as GE and Intel, to advance its important research effort.

Ireland's inward investment promotion agency, IDA Ireland is responsible for the attraction and development of foreign investment in Ireland. IDA's focus is to attract investment that is of high value, requiring high skill levels and a sophisticated business environment.

The TRIL Centre started as a three-year, $30 million initiative to explore the physical, cognitive and social consequences of ageing and develop technology solutions to address them in 2007. The Centre was originally funded by Intel and IDA Ireland. TRIL brings together a multidisciplinary team of more than 70 researchers from Intel, University College Dublin (UCD), Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway. The TRIL Centre seeks to enable people to live independently at any age by accelerating understanding of behavioural markers of disease and how technology can be applied to product positive interventions.

Through home-based behavioural assessment, multi-disciplinary research teams identify behavioural markers such as changes in gait, speech patterns, or social interactions that indicate the onset of disease, then create and home-test technology solutions to enable early disease detection, measurement and positive intervention by patients themselves or caregivers. These solutions are shared with other researchers in modular, reusable open-IP tool-kits and also used to inform the home health platform development of Intel and its eco-system collaborators.

GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Its broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help the customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, the company partners with health care experts, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable health care systems.

GE Healthcare's "healthymagination" vision for the future invites the world to join the company on its journey as it continuously develops innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality and efficiency around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $16 billion unit of General Electric Company. Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 46.000 people committed to serving health care professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. More company news is available in the VMW April 2010 article Network of twelve community health centres selects GE Centricity Electronic Medical Record.


Source: GE Healthcare

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