GE Medical Systems To Buy Triple G Systems Group

Acquisition is a step toward GE’s vision of a comprehensive clinical info system

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HERE’S AN ACQUISITION with interesting ramifications for both clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology group practices.

GE Medical Systems Information Technologies, (GEMSIT) a business division of General Electric Company, will acquire Triple G Systems Group, Inc. of Toronto, Canada. The purchase price is US$54.8 million and the deal will close in the third quarter 2003.

GEMSIT’s President, Dow Wilson, laid out the company’s vision. “Laboratory information systems are critical to delivering quality patient care in today’s healthcare environment,” he said. “The increased focus on raising clinical productivity, while improving the quality of patient care has made clinicians eager for technology that provides real-time patient information across the healthcare enterprise. Because most clinical treatment decisions are based on laboratory test results (italics by TDR), the potential for improving patient safety by enhancing workflow in this area is significant.”

Move Into Pathology Field

GEMSIT is already a respected player in the radiology marketplace. It has consistently brought enhanced IT solutions to radiologists in support of its imaging product line. Its acquisition of a laboratory information systems vendor is significant. GEMSIT realizes that it cannot deliver an integrated clinical information suite of products to health systems if it lacks an LIS product.

Moreover, because of the role radiology plays in many aspects of cancer diagnosis and treatment, GEMSIT would naturally be interested in the impact that molecular diagnostics will have on the oncology marketplace. Its acquisition of Triple G should also be viewed as part of GEMSIT’s strategy to remain a major player in oncology, even as evolving technologies give pathology (molecular diagnostics) a greater role in detection, diagnosis, prognosis, and patient monitoring than it’s had in the past.

Move Toward Universal EMR

Another aspect of this acquisition should not be overlooked. GE Medical Systems’ announcement of the purchase of Triple G comes on the same day, July 26, as publication of the RAND Health study results and just days before the Department of Health & Human Services’ announcement of the SNOMED CT and standardized electronic medical record initiatives.

From this perspective, GEMSIT’s move to acquire an LIS vendor shows that it wants to position itself to offer a suite of integrated clinical software products that is compatible with the proposed standardized electronic medical record.

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