By Sy Mukherjee
February 7, 2018

Former General Electric (GE) chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt just got a new gig.

Immelt has been unanimously appointed as chairman of Athenahealth, the cloud-based medical records and health care software services provider, by its board of directors. “Jeff shares our vision for more connected, efficient, and human-centered health care; and like us, believes a platform-oriented business and technology strategy is fundamental to executing against that vision,” said Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush in a statement. Immelt takes over the position effective Wednesday.

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A number of respected industry veterans, including former Cleveland Clinic president and CEO Toby Cosgrove and Medtronic chief Omar Ishrak, praised the appointment as a smart step for Athenahealth given Immelt’s experience in the field. Cosgrove touted Immelt’s “solutions-oriented attitude” to medicine while Ishrak said Immelt’s vision and experience could help “drive better outcomes and results in health care.”

Indeed, Immelt helped grow the GE Healthcare division from a (relatively) fledgling entity to a $20 billion outfit during his time at the company. GE Healthcare has invested in AI-fueled technologies to improve medical imaging and diagnostics, and even deployed a digital control hub at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in order to help manage and streamline everyday operations.

“Athenahealth has great potential to drive the next wave of disruptive change across the health care industry, particularly among medical practices, hospitals, and health systems that are challenged by administrative burden and data silos,” said Immelt in a statement.

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