By Jamie Lee
Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO of GE, called the multi-pronged business and marketing initiative a “systems approach to solving global issues.”
The campaign promises to invest $6 billion in innovation and technology to address issues in healthcare. It mirrors “Ecomagination," a business-driven marketing effort that launched in 2005 and looks at issues relating to climate change, energy, and water.
Edelman is providing support on both campaigns.At an October 21 event, GE Healthcare announced the launch of a research and development partnership with Eli Lilly; a $250 million equity fund for diagnostic, IT, and life sciences technologies; and a CSR program called “Developing Health,” a $35-million investment which will provide grants and send employee as volunteers to clinics that treat underserved populations.
“Partnerships are critical,” said Linda Boff, global director of marketing and communications at GE. “And in a space like healthcare, it's complicated.”Stakeholders, such as the board of directors, analysts, customer groups, employees and their families, media, policy leaders, and consumers, were invited to the showcase in New York, noted Boff. Much of the event's messages focused on prevention and addressing the costs associated with chronic disease.
The showcase includes product displays ranging from the company's new PDA-sized ultrasound device to a “vision” of an online consumer health profile platform that taps into NBC's editorial health content.
Media who attended the event included global and national business outlets, trades, and online publications.
While the majority of the showcase is geared at business stakeholders, Boff said that the company is preparing for a consumer push in 2010. It is also looking at engaging the same stakeholder groups online.