GE Healthcare and Microsoft launch Covid-19 offering for hospitals

13 May 2020 3 min. read

GE Healthcare last month launched the Mural Virtual Care Solution. Built on Microsoft Azure, the solution allows hospitals to remotely view numerous ventilated patients simultaneously, and enables the identification of patients at risk of deterioration.

Mural collects near real-time data from ventilators, patient monitoring systems, electronic medical records, labs and other systems, allowing one clinician to remotely monitor several patients at once. A Mural installation for a 100-bed ICU network could be effectively monitored by three senior nurses and two intensivists.

“Mural Virtual Care on Microsoft Azure allows for remote management and surveillance of ventilated patients at scale,” said Microsoft global chief medical officer Dr. David Rhew.

The solution also helps identify patients needing intervention, including ventilation and lung injury management for patients on extended mechanical ventilation support.GE Healthcare and Microsoft launch Covid-19 offering for hospitalsAs health systems are strained by Covid-19, Mural allows hospitals to make more efficient use of scarce resources. The solution is currently being implemented by Oregon Health & Science University (OSHU) and can be used by hospitals of any size.

“It is imperative that I and my fellow healthcare workers use virtual ICU technology to safely monitor and care for our sickest patients while preserving PPE,” said Dr. Matthias Merkel, OHSU’s chief medical capacity officer. “Remaining closely connected and supported through technology enables us to progress our patients’ care across a geographic distance that we would otherwise be unable to manage.”

Mural is the latest in an ongoing collaboration between GE’s healthcare business and Microsoft. The two companies previously formed healthcare joint venture Caradigm, but Microsoft has since sold its stake in the company.

GE Healthcare delivers medical devices, data analytics, apps, and consulting services to the healthcare sector. The company has approximately 50,000 global employees and $16.7 billion in annual revenues.

"Not only is GE Healthcare providing critically important medical devices to address this global challenge, but we are also rapidly scaling technologies to aid clinicians in delivering safe, effective and efficient care,” said Kieran Murphy, president and CEO of GE Healthcare. “We are excited to have a partner like Microsoft to help us arm clinicians with the software tools they need.”

Consulting firms have been launching apps and technologies over the past couple months to help tackle the pandemic crisis. PA Consulting helped develop a national level clearinghouse to match medical staff with the hospitals that need them most during the pandemic; Perficient partnered with Drift to create a chatbot-based telehealth screener; and PwC developed a contact-tracing app for businesses.