Three ways to increase your startup’s chances of getting acquired by GE Healthcare

Cultural fit, bundling potential and a focus on work force optimization. If your healthcare startup meets all or even two of these criteria, you’ll have a better than average chance of attracting attention from GE Healthcare. Mike Swinford, President and CEO Global Services at GE Healthcare, explained the thinking behind three recent acquisitions as well […]

Cultural fit, bundling potential and a focus on work force optimization.

If your healthcare startup meets all or even two of these criteria, you’ll have a better than average chance of attracting attention from GE Healthcare.

Mike Swinford, President and CEO Global Services at GE Healthcare, explained the thinking behind three recent acquisitions as well as how the companies helped GE make more money.

Swinford said that GEHC’s acquisition of API Healthcare in February perfectly illustrates the division’s new focus on workforce optimization. The company analyzes EHR data to schedule the right nurses at the right time.

“The company looks at the data to determine how sick the people in the hospital are and what nurses they need that week,” he said.

Swinford said this new product allows GEHC to reframe the discussion with customers and develop a roadmap towards workforce optimization.

“We can help you save money on overtime, increase productivity and make nurses happier too,” he said.

Another recent acquisition improved efficiency by making CT scans safer by calculating a precise radiation dose for each person. The founders of SerphyDose is a physicist and used data collection and unique algorithms to determine exact radiation doses down to the organ level of individual patients.

“This acquisition has helped us sell more CT machines and cath labs because we can provide differentiated services that other companies can’t,” Swinford said.

In addition to the differentiation factor, bundling potential is another factor that GEHC considers when analyzing a possible acquisition.

“We look at stand alone potential as well as hard and soft bundle potential,” he said. “We want to know if the company has the ability to be relevant in the space they’re in.”

A good culture match was an important factor in GEHC’s acquisition of Agility Healthcare Solutions. The company was an early adopter of patient care traffic control systems and Swinford said the company’s knowledge of hospital operations was much more advanced than GEHC’s at the time of the acquisition in 2008.

“Its culture was very focused on taking care of their customers and doing the right thing for their customers, and that’s a critical element to GE,” he said. “The founder still works for me today.”

Asset and patient flow optimization is now a key part of GEHC’s core hospital operations management offering.

Swinford said that he looks for transparency, honesty, compliance and integrity in a company’s culture. GE executives would have to see these qualities in a company to consider an acquisition seriously.

“We look for these characteristics in a set of questions and in behaviors, but there’s no substitute for having dinner or lunch and get to know the leadership team,” he said.