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Interview: Mark Stoesz, GE Healthcare

Mark Stoesz, President Enterprise Solutions and Partnerships, International, at medical technology, pharmaceutical diagnostics, and digital solutions innovator GE HealthCare, is speaking at HBI 2024 in London about how healthcare providers can get the most out of their data.

Mark Stoesz, President Enterprise Solutions and Partnerships, International, GE HealthCare

“My team is focused on commercial development strategy and advisory. We have teams dedicated to consultation services on clinical, operational and digital matters. 

“I cover all regions except the US, Canada and China. We see a growing need for healthcare support particularly in low and middle-income markets.”

“We also have teams that are looking at care pathways for cancer, neurology as well as cardiology and cardiovascular disease, and that’s very much embedded within the digital components on our devices. The final team is focusing on localisation.

“A lot of the activities that the team are focusing on are around how we can help governments improve quality of care, how we can work with key opinion leaders, academics and others stakeholders that are developing next generation solutions and what we can do to support the advancement of digitalisation across healthcare to improve the quality of delivery as well as access and cost.

“In my previous role I led enterprise solutions and partnerships in Asia Pacific as well as Latin America markets. Now in my current role I’m also looking at European markets. Instead of just working for Asia in the morning and then in the afternoon working for Latin America, I now work for Asia in the morning, Europe at midday and then focus more on Latin America in the afternoon.

“In terms of how the role has changed and what I am doing differently, a good example we’re looking at is how we can link our work in Spain more to what we’re doing in Latin America; how we can share multidisciplinary collaboration work, for example with a new AI tool? What can we leverage given they speak the same language? We are doing the same thing with Portugal and Brazil.

“We see many large entities looking across borders, so when you look at large healthcare practices, whether that’s outpatient radiology practices or hospitals, there’s a trend where we start to see a lot more cross-border engagement. We see a lot of companies within Europe looking at Latin America or across to Asian markets.

“18 months ago we spun-off from GE and GE HealthCare became a standalone publicly traded company. This is giving us the opportunity to invest more in healthcare R&D and specific activities around healthcare. We have been looking at how we explore inorganic M&A into adjacencies and other partnership activities to really develop ourselves as a stronger member of the healthcare community and a developer and provider of solutions.

“In the last two years, we’ve made several strong acquisitions. We just announced the MIM acquisition, which is a software solution that’s focused specifically on oncology. Being a independent, dedicated healthcare company has allowed us to really hone in on our capacity to grow both inorganically and organically,” Stoesz explains.

Personalised healthcare

“Personalised healthcare is where we are really dedicating much of our efforts, particularly with the advent of AI technologies or digitalisation and acceptance of digital environments. It allows us to do things differently.”

“It’s now arguably less about only looking at what’s the latest and greatest equipment and more about how we make most effective use of that equipment.”

“We see a lot more focus on how we take costs out for healthcare providers. One of the best ways to take cost out is by looking at a patient as an individual and understanding their disease and how we treat the specific disease. In chemotherapy, for example, if you have a treatment where you’re treating the disease rather than the patient you may end up giving a chemotherapy drug that may not help them because of their genetics or medical history.”

“Ultimately, what we’re really trying to solve for in our overall strategy is how we get to that personalised level by being able to integrate the full aspects of electronic medical records with the background history of the patient. This includes bringing in, for example, the blood biopsy, bringing in pathology information and integrating that with imaging ultrasound information by definition.

“Once we’ve done this, clinicians can actually look back at that patient and understand what’s the right treatment based on utilising AI technologies or other technologies that can move this a little further.”

Care pathways

“If we look at oncology, for example, we’ve developed several different solutions, specifically our care pathway solution around breast cancer. We’ve looked specifically at when we can help and support, and came up with the idea of one-stop breast clinics,” Stoesz says.

“When we have a patient who might have a disease, there are multiple points when they must go to the hospital, and various specialists they might have to see. How can we make it more efficient? From the patient’s perspective, it’s not just the amount of time they have to spend going back to the hospital. It’s also the psychological piece. If I have to wait one month or two weeks or even just one week waiting to find out if I have cancer or not, that’s not ideal.”

“With our one-stop clinic approach we can provide a solution to the customer that allows them to obtain all the information at one time and hopefully alleviate some of the challenges and anxieties. If we do it in a shorter time frame, depending on the disease, there might be a better outcome for that disease. Earlier detection enables better management. And, it may also be more cost effective.

“We see a lot of opportunities to learn from our customers. From these learnings we can then develop solutions that make better sense.”

Digitalisation and data optimisation

Stoesz explains that care pathways and personalised healthcare enhancements would not be possible without the work GE HealthCare is doing on digitalisation and data optimisation.

“There are a couple of projects we can point to. I would break them down to health system level projects, hospital level projects and department level projects.

“We actually deployed a solution for the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia, which has connected their hospitals to a centralised command centre so that they can better understand the operational effectiveness of their hospital settings.

“For example they didn’t have a lot of patient volume at a particular site. The question became: do we keep this operational or do we stop operating this specific location? When they started to investigate, they realised people weren’t going to the location because there was no parking. Instead of saying ‘stop delivering the service to that site’ they found a way to deliver it and effectively bring patients in.

“At a department level our Edison Imaging 360 is a radiology solution where we can connect MRI, CT and other devices to the tool to understand their utilisation and monitor the operational quality and outcomes that are delivered.

“We’ve also developed the ability to perform remote scanning which allows you to take care to another level. The benefit here is that you may have sites in different parts of a country, particularly in more rural areas where you might not have the same level of clinical experience with more advanced cases.

“Once in a while, clinicians may need to perform a scan that isn’t typical in that location.. The idea of remote scanning is that you have a cockpit that allows you to support those remote facilities by optimising the sequences, optimising the way in which you position the patient, so that you can empower clinicians at varying skill levels.

“On the data side, I would start by looking at another acquisition GE Healthcare made. Caption Health is an AI planning environment for ultrasound. Ultrasound is very user-dependent. We’ve introduced a handheld ultrasound device that allows us to perform cardiac imaging as well as conventional imaging. It allows clinicians to actually help position the patient and position the imaging. We also use that data. Once we have acquired the data we work with several other companies in the AI space to synthesise the data and create a standardised report.

“For cardiac imaging we can provide a standardised report of  all volumetric and flow information that allows clinicians to comprehensively assess a cardiac reading in a very unique setting.

“When you think about data, the challenge we’re trying to solve is how we keep healthy patients out of hospital and leave the hospital for those patients that really need to be there.”

Mark Stoesz will be addressing the “Getting the most out of your data” session on Wednesday 12th Jun at HBI 2024.

We would welcome your thoughts on this story. Email your views to Daniel Emmett-Gulliver or call 0207 183 3779.