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Humana, Inc. (HUM), Intel-GE Care Innovations Unveil Telehealth Pilot

3/22/2011 7:55:50 AM

Tampa Bay Business Journal -- A pilot project for Humana, using Intel-GE Care Innovations technology, will allow Humana nurses to manage the care of congestive heart failure patients anywhere in the country.

The project will use Intel Health Guide, a computer in a patient’s home that provides daily monitoring of vital signs such as weight and blood pressure and transmits that information over the Internet. The computer is equipped with two-way video so nurses and patients can talk face-to-face. Nurses can observe physical traits that may indicate changes in a member’s condition and can alert physicians to any changes so doctors can adjust medication or treatment.

The technology lets Humana (NYSE: HUM) reach out more effectively and productively to its members, said Mike McCallister, chairman and chief executive officer on Friday.

It could help prevent more costly health care events, such as visits to the emergency room or hospitalizations, Humana officials said.

Allowing people to age in their homes while interacting with their care providers is critical to controlling the cost of health care, said Doug Busch, chief operating offer for Intel-GE Care Innovations, a joint venture between Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) and GE Healthcare.

Intel-GE Care Innovations partnered with Humana because of the managed care company’s scale, Busch said. Humana is one of the largest Medicare players in the United States.

“The national presence of Humana enables the technology to reach hundreds of thousands of people,” Busch said.

Intel-GE Care Innovations has taken out a 20,000 square foot lease in Roseville. The joint venture between Fairfield, Conn.-based General Electric and Santa Clara-based Intel was formed in August 2010. Intel has a 5,500-employee campus in Folsom, making it the largest tech-related company in the four-county region.

The pilot project will roll out over the next 18 months to 2,000 Humana members. It also could be used for members with chronic conditions such as diabetes or asthma.

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