Despite sounding like a movie from the Magic Kingdom, the Healthymagination program at General Electric (NYSE: GE) has been just what the government doctor ordered.

During the first year of the six-year, $6 billion program, GE has progressed well toward its goals of health-care efficiency and cost savings. The company has already invested $700 million into research and development and another $250 million into an equity fund to invest in startups.

GE partnered with Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) and the Mayo Clinic to study the use of remote monitoring devices. The initial layout for setups such as GE's, or UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) and Cisco's (Nasdaq: CSCO) telemedicine network, aren't likely to be cheap, but making it easier for doctors to check on their patients remotely can pay off down the road through decreased complications.

The conglomerate has also teamed up with Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) to help develop a test to determine the best drugs to fight cancer. Considering the cost of cancer drugs these days, it's not too difficult to see how running a test that helps avoid the use of a drug that wouldn't work can easily pay for itself many times over.

In addition to boosting revenue through the Healthymagination program, GE is also focused on saving itself money through decreased health-care costs. Simple things such as making sure employees don't use the emergency room for nonemergencies -- an estimated 30% of the trips to the ER -- and providing a list of after-hours treatment centers can save $1 million or more for a company as large as GE.

GE isn't a pure health-care play -- take a look at Fool Alex Dumortier's recent opinion of the company as a whole -- but even if you pass, its Healthymagination focus shouldn't be ignored.

Business as usual isn't going to work in the health-care field anymore. Investors need to find innovative companies that will help lower health-care costs, and GE looks to be on the way to that goal.

Intel and UnitedHealth Group are Motley Fool Inside Value selections. UnitedHealth is also a Stock Advisor pick. Motley Fool Options has recommended buying calls on shares of Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. The Fool owns shares of UnitedHealth Group and has created a covered strangle position on Intel. The Fool's disclosure policy is as healthy and imaginative as disclosure policies come.