GE Healthcare (10% of General Electric Company (GE) total revenue in 2009) focuses on offering healthcare and medical-related services and goods. The division manufactures and services a range of medical equipment including CT, PET, MRI, nuclear, and X-ray imaging systems. GE Healthcare's customers include hospitals, medical facilities, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and the life science research market worldwide.
GE Healthcare's broad range of products and services enable healthcare providers to better diagnose and treat cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases, and other conditions earlier. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $17 billion unit of General Electric Company. Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 46,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries.
GE Life Sciences produces products used in the discovery and development of new drugs. Furthermore, this division produces Discovery Matters, a research-oriented medical magazine.
Diagnostic Imaging sells devices used for medical imaging and diagnostic purposes. GE's products offer x-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed topography (CT), ultrasound, and positron emission topography (PET) technologies, covering a wide range of medical uses.
Medical Diagnostics provides imaging technology that highlights organs, tissues, and functions of the human body while scanning.
Global Services works with healthcare providers around the world to maintain up-to-date medical equipment. In addition, Global Services aids medical professionals by providing training services and information on new medical developments and trends.
Integrated IT Solutions provides clinics and organizations with IT solutions aimed at streamlining healthcare facility management. This division provides services such as asset management and products such as software for database management, allowing providers to better focus on providing the actual healthcare services.
GE Healthcare Clinical Systems provides technology for clinicians and healthcare administrators. Its offerings include various types of equipment commonly used in the medical field, including patient monitoring systems, incubators, and devices to measure bone density.
Higher health and wellness standards have led to an increase in life expectancies in many countries around the world. Within 25 years, the percentage of world's population aged 65 or over is expected to increase dramatically, which could benefit the medical industry as a whole. The diagnostic imaging market, however, is particularly likely to benefit from the medical needs of an aging population. Preventive care has become widely used, as it is much cheaper to prevent diseases than it is to treat them. Since GE is the leading force in the medical imaging market and is known as a major innovator in the industry, it would benefit greatly from increased demand for diagnostic imaging equipment.
Practicing medicine is an expensive business. Healthcare providers are faced with rising costs in a number of areas, including medical malpractice insurance premiums, labor, and various materials necessary to their practice. Additionally, obtaining reimbursements from insurance companies or government sources for services rendered to patients can sometimes be difficult, further straining providers' margins. As a result of these factors, healthcare practitioners are keen to reduce inefficiencies and cut unnecessary costs where possible. GE Healthcare's services and IT solutions, which help to streamline operations and increase efficiency, can offer the cost savings that hospitals and providers demand.
GE Healthcare's Life Sciences division markets products used in the discovery and development of drugs. Specifically, GE, through its acquired subsidiary Amersham, markets two types of products: Protein Separations and Discovery Systems. Protein Separations are used as reagents and purification systems for bio-pharmaceuticals, and Discovery Systems are tools used in the development of new drugs. Life Sciences' products are used by a large number biotech firms, including Amgen (AMGN) and Genentech (DNA). Strong demand in the bio-pharmaceutical and molecular medicine industries would benefit GE, since its products are widely used in the development of these types of drugs.
GE's main competitor for medical imaging products is Siemens AG (SI). In January 2007, GE acquired Abbott Laboratories' medical diagnostic unit for $8.13 billion in an attempt to break further into the in-vitro and diagnostics markets. Siemens similarly bought Diagnostic Products Corporation (DPC), a leader in in-vitro clinical diagnostics, for $1.89 billion. GE's budget is much larger than Siemens', giving it an advantage over Siemens in terms of acquisition opportunities. In addition to Siemens, Toshiba (TOSBF) and Koninklijke Philips Electronics, N.V. (PHG) also hold stakes in the medical imaging market, though neither are as large as GE or Siemens.
GE is also the largest provider of healthcare services and IT solutions, accounting for around 40% of the highly fragmented market. Competitors in this segment include Electronic Data Systems (EDS), McKesson (MCK), and Cerner (CERN), though all three are significantly smaller than GE in terms of both size and market share.