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GE Healthcare does away with waiting rooms

Digital innovations not only simplify the lives of doctors and patients but can protect them too.

A patient inside the GE Optima MR450, one of the most modern systems for magnetic resonance tomography. GE Healthcare is a leading medical technology provider. Photo: GE Healthcare

They were ahead of their time. A small group of IT specialists, designers, students, and founders took three days out of their normal routines for an intense round of discussions and programming, hardly bothering to sleep. Together they came up with the idea for an app that could make many people safer during an epidemic. This app allows medical appointments to be organized so as to limit the time spent in waiting rooms—and thus the time that patients spend in close proximity to other people. The idea was tailor-made for the challenges that arrived with the coronavirus. Yet it was developed in September 2019, months before the virus appeared on the scene.

The app was the brainchild of participants in a hackathon in Munich. Hundreds of talented young people gathered there to seek solutions to problems posed by a number of companies. The task of “doing away with waiting rooms” came from GE Healthcare. This subsidiary of the U.S.-based General Electric corporation has been placing an ever-greater emphasis on promoting the digital transformation in healthcare, and the app is just one example of how that strategy can pay off in the pandemic.

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