GE Healthcare Camden Group Insights Blog

There Isn’t “A” Cure for Cancer. There Are 7.4 Billion

Posted by Matthew Smith on Sep 12, 2016 10:33:19 AM

By John Flannery, President and CEO, GE Healthcare

This summer, John Flannery started a top ten list on LinkedIn, highlighting his thoughts on how healthcare is transforming around the world. Read his fourth reason, below, and also catch up on the rest of the series here

I was recently told a story about a young patient in the U.K. He was a teenager when he was diagnosed with malignant melanoma – a teenager with deadly skin cancer. Multiple rounds of chemotherapy followed by targeted drug treatments yielded no results. He developed metastases to his brain and tumors grew in his lung and chest. Breathing was difficult. He was given weeks to live.

We’ve heard the tragic stories too often. Everyone knows someone. We know how it ends.

Or do we?

In a last effort, this patient’s case was sent to Dr. Robert Hawkins, PhD and CEO of an advanced lab in Manchester. There, the patient’s immune cells were genetically modified, incubated for days, while they multiplied in number. Soon these microscopic cells that had been super-programmed to do what they do best – fight disease – were injected back into the patient’s body to find and attack the cancer cells.

Today marks four years since this teenager’s incurable cancer has disappeared completely. This is the promise of cell therapy in action.

Cell therapy, in which immune cells are removed from a patient and reprogrammed specifically to identify and destroy the cancer in the very body from which they came, is part ongoing research and part reality. Institutions like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are making major investments in its future, while clinicians like Dr. Hawkins are proving its value in real-time.


If this rapidly growing field of personalized medicine continues its current transformation, the long sought after cure for cancer may not be one cure at all. It may be many possible cures in the form of cell therapies customized for each and every human in need. With 7.4 billion people in the world, we can imagine the multitudes and combinations of cures that are out there.

But each individual therapy often needs to be handmade specifically to each patient. And the process required to extract, transfer, grow and reintroduce the cells into the patient involves advanced technology and manual interaction. Because this field is still developing, researchers have traditionally gone about sourcing different pieces of the medical equipment from different places and then bringing them all together to build a homegrown production process.

This isn’t efficient enough to manufacture billions – or even millions or thousands – of therapies at once. Not fast enough to win the war on cancer.

The challenge then is to make the story of the teenager with melanoma the new normal, not one of the few successes.

GE Healthcare plans to answer that challenge. We’re working to build a start-to-finish solution for cell therapy, a single cohesive toolset that hands providers tools to efficiently and more rapidly manufacture these treatments and deliver them to patients. 

Dr. Hawkins' lab, for example, already has installed the first tool in this box, GE’s Xuri™ Cell Expansion System, a bioreactor that serves the step in the manufacturing process of expanding cells, but with a smaller small physical footprint in the lab.

The biggest step perhaps came in July, when GE Healthcare acquired a major innovator and supplier of integrated cell bioprocessing systems, Biosafe Group SA. Together, our Life Sciences business and Biosafe’s applications in cord blood banking, cell therapy and regenerative medicine will bring us closer to building one complete ecosystem of tools for cell therapy.

On top of this, a brainchild of GE Ventures and Mayo Clinic focused on manufacturing services, Vitruvian Networks, is providing cell therapy producers with data and analytics to continue to improve the efficiency and commercial scalability of these therapies.

The field of cell therapy is young and constantly evolving. It will see many changes along the way. But the promise these therapies can bring to patients everywhere persists.

We believe the medical world may finally be able to scale the production of individual, breakthrough cell therapies. It could be the difference between treating a handful of patients, or treating hundreds of thousands.

A new ending to the tragic stories we hear too often. A new normal.

bio_Flannery.jpgJohn Flannery is the President and CEO of GE Healthcare, an $18 billion business unit of General Electric that provides transformational medical technologies and solutions to the global healthcare industry. GE Healthcare supports customers in over 100 countries with a broad range of services and systems, from diagnostic imaging and healthcare IT through to molecular diagnostics and life-sciences. John was appointed to his current role in October 2014.


Topics: Cancer, GE Healthcare, John Flannery, Cell Therapy, Digital Industrialization

GE Healthcare and Mission Health Launch First-of-a-Kind Outcomes-Based Innovation Collaboration

Posted by Matthew Smith on Aug 30, 2016 1:45:57 PM

New Care Process Models to Benefit Health Systems Nationwide

  • Emphasis on driving meaningful, measurable outcomes for the next decade that are scalable nationwide
  • Mission targeting $40 million in direct, operational savings through focus on optimizing radiology, streamlining biomedical services and replacing monitoring and telemetry equipment system-wide

ASHEVILLE, NC – August 26, 2016 – Today, Mission Health and GE Healthcare announced a novel, 10-year outcomes-based agreement that will help drive significant value for patients, Mission Health, GE and health systems nationwide. As a non-academic, regional integrated health system that includes a 730 bed, high-volume, high-acuity tertiary-quaternary hospital, Mission is looking to balance clinical quality with significant cost savings and efficiency across their system — the same challenge facing nearly all healthcare systems nationwide. 

“This is an innovative, collaborative, outcomes-driven relationship focused on developing new, transformational ways of caring for patients at Mission Health and nationwide,” said Ronald A. Paulus, MD, President and CEO, Mission Health. “The challenges we face at Mission are like so many health systems across the nation. Our goal is to improve our margin, drive system-wide efficiency and deliver an exceptional, transparent experience for every patient, family and team member. The solutions that we develop and cost savings we achieve with GE will be scalable and applicable to other similar healthcare systems. This is truly exciting for Mission and the industry.”

“To make this level of partnership possible, it takes two organizations to think both differently and collaboratively,” said John Flannery, President and CEO, GE Healthcare. “We are honored to work with Mission Health and strongly believe that this strategic, outcomes-based agreement will ensure alignment and focus on shared priorities. We are passionate about delivering on our commitment while helping to enhance clinical quality, patient experience and operational efficiency.”

Mission Health and GE Healthcare will work in partnership to solve the system’s most complex challenges delivering over $40 million in savings for Mission Health over the course of the relationship:

  • First of a Kind, Co-created Innovation Collaboration: Mission Health and GE Healthcare will co-develop, pilot and deploy transformational healthcare solutions focused initially on two areas: optimizing imaging experience and utilization and smoothing patient care transitions.
    • Imaging: The focus will be on supporting a patient’s ability to make informed choices based upon key variables such as comparative costs and wait times while providing rapid results. From the provider perspective, the focus will be on streamlining the complex process of getting patients to the right imaging modality, at the right time, in the right place across the system while balancing capacity and availability. 
    • Care Transitions: The approach will leverage predictive modelling and other analytics to ensure that the patient receives the right care in the right setting with the right technology to maximize patient outcomes, experience and minimize costs.

By leveraging GE’s deep technology, consulting, software, IT and workflow expertise and Mission’s in-depth clinical experience and “real world learning laboratory”, Mission and GE Healthcare will help shape the next generation of technology, tools, and processes to support healthcare’s transformation. This is less about one product or capability and more broadly aligned around how technology and services can work together to deliver outcomes for patients. Many of the findings and solutions developed through this collaboration can be transferred and used by systems nationwide.[1]

Key areas of operational focus within Mission Health include:

  • Radiology Optimization: Imaging is a core component of many service lines and care plans – yet in most organizations it is optimized or structured to function as a central backbone of care delivery. A systematic focus on imaging/radiology drives system-wide efficiency by improving speed to diagnosis, increasing asset utilization, reducing un-necessary retakes, reducing overall care costs and reducing waiting time for patients and clinicians system-wide. As care shifts to a value-based model, radiology must transform from a simple revenue or cost center to one that actively supports risk-based care models and helps Mission achieve its goal of providing same day, cost-effective care.
  • System-wide Bedside Monitoring Transformation: Mission Health is replacing its bedside monitoring and telemetry at all seven facilities to support rapidly increasing inpatient acuity, reduce internal and cross-facility transfers and provide seamless care regardless of site. The new monitoring platform will ensure that all equipment is interconnected and that data is readily available to the clinician in the moments that matter most. By providing immediate access to critical data, especially in areas like the emergency department, caregivers can improve patient safety and speed to diagnosis and reduce patient wait times, reduce false positive and optimize patient placement keeping patients close to home as much as possible.
  • Radiology and Biomedical Services with Asset Optimization: GE Healthcare will assume responsibility for servicing diagnostic and biomedical equipment at Mission Health. This will drive standardization, consistency and overall increased reliability and quality of care.

This relationship is the culmination of a significant investment by GE Healthcare Partners, the management consulting arm of GE Healthcare. GE Healthcare Partners have built capabilities to advise and execute services that connect GE’s products to clients like Mission Health to improve quality, reduce cost, and increase access. GE Healthcare Partners offers broad advisor services, analytics & predictive modeling capabilities, and has expertise implementing outcomes across the healthcare continuum.

About Mission Health

Mission Health, based in Asheville, North Carolina, is the state’s sixth-largest health system and was recognized as one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems from 2012-2015 by Truven Health Analytics, formerly Thomson Reuters, becoming the only health system in North Carolina to achieve this recognition. 

Mission Health operates six hospitals, numerous outpatient and surgery centers, post-acute care provider CarePartners, long-term acute care provider Asheville Specialty Hospital, and the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center. With approximately 10,700 employees and 2,000 volunteers, Mission Health is dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the people of western North Carolina. For more information, please visit or @MissionHealthNC

About GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world. GE Healthcare (GE) works on things that matter - great people and technologies taking on tough challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance improvement solutions GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients.

[1] Mission Health is the only tertiary-quaternary healthcare provider in western North Carolina, has been named a Top 15 Health System (Truven Health Analytics) in four of the past five years and recently had the lowest readmission rate of any general acute care hospital in the nation (Modern Healthcare). The health system and its leaders already have developed several solutions that are being used and distributed nationwide.

Topics: GE Healthcare, Mission Health, Radiology Optimization, Outcomes-Based Innovation

GE Healthcare Acquires The Camden Group, Enabling Healthcare Organizations to Navigate Industry Transformation

Posted by Matthew Smith on Nov 9, 2015 9:09:51 AM

BARRINGTON, Ill., November 9, 2015 — GE Healthcare (NYSE: GE) announced today it is expanding its U.S. healthcare consulting business with the acquisition of The Camden Group, one of the nation’s leading population health & strategic advisory firms. GE Healthcare Camden Group will act as the U.S. business unit of GE Healthcare’s global advisory firm, GE Healthcare Partners. GE Healthcare Camden Group will be uniquely equipped to enable U.S. healthcare organizations to navigate the transforming healthcare industry by combining The Camden Group’s visionary leadership in healthcare consulting for more than 2,000 healthcare organizations with GE Healthcare’s clinical and leadership expertise around the world. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

Today’s healthcare organizations need partners who can help design and activate solutions that deliver care effectively and efficiently amidst evolving reimbursement structures. Combining GE Healthcare Partners and The Camden Group’s capabilities will allow the firm to deliver strategic and financial consulting to healthcare organizations, as well as advisory consulting on population health management, value-based care, clinical integration and care redesign across the continuum.

“By teaming up with GE Healthcare Partners, the combined firm is one of the largest healthcare consulting firms in the U.S.,” said Daniel J. Marino, an Executive Vice President of the new GE Healthcare Camden Group. “We are positioned well to assist clients as they navigate through post-healthcare reform and transition into value-based care. As a full-service firm, GE Healthcare Camden Group has the ability to provide a broad array of advisory and implementation services delivering distinct advantages and greater impact to our clients.”

GE Healthcare Camden Group’s trusted advisors will be able to help clients transform operational productivity through unique, integrated solutions that combine expertise with complex modelling and financial analytics for powerful, outcomes-based results. The group has deep domain knowledge in hospital operations, physician practice transformation, transactions, performance improvement and change management.

Laurent Dubois, CEO of GE Healthcare Partners, said, “Health systems are seeking to deliver care and manage their organizations as effectively as possible. Bringing The Camden Group and its team of industry-recognized thought leaders and advisors into the GE family expands our breadth to support clients not only in the clinical arena, but across entire health systems.”

The acquisition builds on GE Healthcare’s broader mission to develop analytics-based solutions that deliver transformational, enterprise-wide outcomes for healthcare. Last year, GE Healthcare acquired Finnamore and Foresight Partnership to further expand its consultancy and solutions business globally.

Laura Jacobs, an Executive Vice President of the new GE Healthcare Camden Group said, “This blending of capabilities, experience, and resources creates a unique offering for the healthcare industry. We are excited to join the GE Healthcare family and provide our clients access to the analytics, change management, and activation resources that will support the organizational and clinical changes required to be successful in healthcare now and into the future.”GEHC Camden Group

About GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world. GE Healthcare (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter – great people and technologies taking on tough challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance improvement solutions GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients.

As the management consulting arm of GE Healthcare, Partners is a diverse team of consultants with a passion to help leading organizations manage the interdependencies between cost, quality and access. As an activation partner for clients, Partners collaborates to design strategy, formulate improvements and achieve measureable results and outcomes – implemented to change the way care is delivered. Working side by side with clients, Partners brings together advisory services, advanced analytics, and a world-renowned approach to individual and group change acceleration. By thoroughly transferring critical tools and methods, Partners enables clients to preserve and advance improvements in the long-term.

About The Camden Group

The Camden Group is one of the nation’s leading healthcare business advisory firms. The firm provides a broad array of healthcare consulting services to enable organizational, clinical, and operational transformation to respond to the rapidly changing healthcare environment. This includes services such as strategic and business planning; performance improvement; care model redesign and access improvement; physician compensation; mergers, acquisitions, and other transactions; physician-hospital alignment; clinical integration; payer strategy; and implementing accountable care organizations. Since its founding in 1970, The Camden Group has advised more than 2,000 health systems, medical groups, hospitals, outpatient facilities, post-acute providers, and other healthcare organizations nationwide. For more information, visit us online at

Media Contact:

Tracy Doyle
GE Healthcare
+1 (262) 853-6983

Topics: GE Healthcare, GE Healthcare Camden Group

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