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by Dominic Tyer
Give A Little Beat jukebox aims to connect people through music
GE Healthcare has teamed up with Spotify to launch the first in a series of health initiatives that will be powered by the online music streaming service and unveiled over the coming months.
The first to debut is the Give A Little Beat jukebox, an online initiative to raise awareness of breast cancer and the potential "healing power" of music.
Users can share and listen to songs, as long as they have installed Spotify, and GE said the campaign “reflects the healing power and international reach of music”.
The company points to American Cancer Society findings that, alongside conventional treatment, music therapy can help to reduce pain and relieve chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
It may also relieve stress and provide an overall sense of well-being, and some studies have found that music therapy can lower a person's heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate.
Jeff DeMarrais, GE Healthcare's chief communications officer, said: “We are conscious of the healing power of music and its universal reach, which cuts through geographical and cultural barriers.
"We strongly believe that music and social media are the best way to connect people in the fight against breast cancer and to spread the powerful message that early detection can save lives.”
Oncology is a focus area for the company and GE plans to dedicate $1bn of its healthcare R&D budget through to 2020 to expand its capabilities in the area.
Consequently, the company has been making a lot of use recently of digital and social channels, launching a social media and gaming campaign and joining Pinterest to help spread its awareness message.
GE's latest campaign also makes direct use of social media and, to help spread its message, the company has produced a Give A Little Beat Facebook App.
Songs so far submitted to the jukebox include Jimmy Cliff's 'I can see clearly now', 'Beat it' by Michael Jackson and R.E.M's 'Everybody hurts' – but not the Supertramp song the initiative was presumably named after.