General Electric announced Thursday that it will spend six billion dollars between now and 2015 on innovative healthcare technology -- from portable ultrasound machines to low-cost X-ray equipment.
"Healthcare is an important industry that is challenged by rising costs, inequality of access and persistent quality issues," GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said at a Washington press conference as he unveiled the company's "Healthyimagination" initiative.
"Healthcare needs new solutions. We must innovate with smarter processes and technologies that help doctors and hospitals deliver better healthcare to more people at a lower cost," he said.
The program aims to reduce health care cost and improve access and quality, said Immelt, who said three billion dollars is to be invested on innovations that will lower health care costs by at least 15 percent.
"It's a growth program for the company by broadening our technologies," the CEO said.
The head of GE's Healthcare Division, Reinaldo Garcia, added that the initiative "will have a big impact in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East" where low cost, portable technology is much in demand.