GE Healthcare to provide swine flu updates to CDC

GE Healthcare said it will provide swine flu and seasonal flu updates to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under a sole source contract.

A division of General Electric Co. will provide a daily update on the spread of swine flu and seasonal flu to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under a sole-source contract.

GE Healthcare will provide clinical data that shows hot spots of influenza activity throughout the United States gathered from its electronic database of 14 million patient records, the company announced Oct. 28.

The amount of the sole-source contract is still being negotiated, Jenny Ng, a GE spokesperson, said.

The reports are uploaded every 24 hours from GE Healthcare’s Medical Quality Improvement Consortium, a repository of de-identified clinical data and best practices. Participating physicians who use GE’s electronic health record systems automatically contribute new data to the system each day based on their patient visits that day.

The process results in aggregated clinical data that is more timely than many other disease-monitoring systems, said GE Healthcare IT Vice President and General Manager Jim Corrigan.

The CDC has several flu tracking efforts under way, some internally and others with contractors.