The “y” in GE Healthymagination

During the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, I noticed a series of advertisements being played repeatedly promoting GE Healthymagination. The ads themselves were fairly well done and seemed to do a good job of conveying the message that GE is serious about health care and about being an innovation leader.

Each time I watched the ad, I kept asking myself – why? Why is GE doing this type of advertisement? All of the products GE was promoting seemed geared toward hospitals or other types of health care organizations – definitely not something that a patient could buy. It’s not like a patient can go into a hospital, doctor’s office, or other health care facility and ask if they are using GE products.

I did, however, manage to check-out the website and was quite surprised by the projects they have listed (descriptions are from the website verbatim – March 2010).

  • Better Health Conversation: Healthymagination and WebMD are transforming your next check-up. Our Better Health Conversation helps people get more out of their next doctor’s visit.
  • Morsel: Morsel is a mobile app that helps make healthier decisions a part of more people’s lives. Simple, daily tasks help people get healthier one step at a time. [Authors note: I downloaded the iPhone app and am testing it out]
  • Sharing Healthy Ideas: Healthy ideas are catching on right now. See the most popular ideas being shared on our partner sites.
  • Healthy How-Tos: Healthymagination and Howcast have partnered to create a series of engaging health based how-to videos.
  • Visualizing Data: Healthymagination works with GE’s health economists and leading data designers to help make a wealth of information more relevant to more people.
  • Health Innovation: Solving some of the world’s toughest health problems takes putting healthymagination to work. Our innovations are making it possible to create better health for more people.
  • Better Health Study: GE conducted the Better Health Study with Cleveland Clinic and Ochsner Health Systems.

As for the “why”, here’s the description from their website:

Almost everyone wants to make healthier choices, but they don’t always know how. The amount of information available on wellness, nutrition and exercise is overwhelming, to say the least. Even when we do know how to improve our health, we often try to make sweeping changes or set goals that seem too daunting to reach.

Healthymagination is about becoming healthier, through the sharing of imaginative ideas and proven solutions. It goes beyond innovations in the fields of technology and medicine, celebrating the people behind these advancements. Seeking to build stronger relationships between patients and doctors, GE created healthymagination to gather, share and discuss healthy ideas.

Because healthymagination is about becoming healthier together, it takes the form of multiple projects that you can participate in, whether you’re looking to change your lifestyle or fine-tune your approach to health. Making healthy decisions should be easy…and fun.

Guess the advertisement didn’t really match-up to the work that Healthymagination is doing (in my opinion). One project that would be great for GE to pursue is studying how to make health care more accessible (from a service perspective) and more cost-effective.