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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
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GE Healthcare Redefines Comfort, Confidence and Connectivity in Radiology at RSNA Conference

Today at RSNA 2012, GE Healthcare (NYSE: GE) unveiled four medical technologies that will change the way radiology works today and evolves in the future. First, taking an industry-leading step toward more comfortable Magnetic Resonance (MR) patient exams, GE Healthcare’s 510(k) pending Silent Scan* technology reduces the typical noise made during MR exams from a cymbal to a thimble, cutting overall system noise to near ambient levels. Second, GE Healthcare’s Universal Viewer solution improves radiologists’ connectivity and workflow like never before – integrating more types of imaging systems into an intuitive, robust platform that can have a significant impact on productivity. Third, GE Healthcare’s acquisition of a unique breast ultrasound technology positions the company with the widest portfolio of breast cancer imaging solutions in the world, and as the only company offering breast cancer diagnosis and screening capabilities via ultrasound in the United States. . Finally, InSightec Ltd. is proud to announce US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the ExAblate MRI guided focused ultrasound treatment of painful bone metastases in patients who are not candidates for or refuse to undergo radiation treatment.

GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said, “Reducing MR to a whisper, screening for breast cancer using ultrasound, and giving physicians universal access and intuitive control over how they see patient images – these are all leaps forward in patient care, not just incremental change. At GE we’re at work for a healthier world, and today’s announcements embody that commitment to quality, accessible and affordable healthcare for more people.”

Silent Scan

Silent Scan is a revolutionary 510(k) pending technology designed to address one of the most significant impediments to patient comfort – excessive acoustic noise generated during an MR scan. Conventional MR scanners can generate noise in excess of 110 decibels, roughly equivalent to rock concerts. GE Healthcare’s exclusive Silent Scan is designed to reduce MR scanner noise to near ambient (background) sound levels and thus can help improve a patient’s MR exam experience.

Historically, acoustic noise mitigation techniques have focused on insulating components and muffling sound as opposed to treating the noise at the source. With Silent Scan, acoustic noise is essentially eliminated by employing a new advanced 3D acquisition and reconstruction technique called Silenz, in combination with GE Healthcare’s proprietary design of the high-fidelity MR gradient and RF system electronics. Silent Scan is designed to eliminate the noise at its source; with Silent Scan, patients will experience a more relaxing scanning environment.

Universal Viewer

With this week’s introduction of Universal Viewer, GE Healthcare aims to put clinical insight within reach to help radiologists and referring physicians deliver patient results efficiently. Universal Viewer brings together advanced visualization, intelligent productivity tools, and multimodality workflow for oncology and breast imaging all within one intuitive workspace that can be accessed anywhere, anytime. It works with Centricity* PACS, Centricity PACS-IW, and Centricity Clinical Archive.

Centricity PACS and Centricity PACS-IW users will find a new dimension of clinical intelligence as they explore Universal Viewer. It is enables seamless workflow with pre- and post-processing. Advanced clinical applications, powered by AW, are embedded to enable oncology quantification, auto bone removal, vessel analysis, and registration. In an industry “first,” Universal Viewer also includes integrated mammography tools for screening and diagnostics, with the ability to display images across a breadth of modalities, support CAD markers and IHE profiles, and connect with reporting systems.

Breast Ultrasound

Women with dense breast tissue – estimated at 40-45 percent of women in the United States – are more likely to get breast cancer than women without dense breast tissue. GE Healthcare now has the opportunity to integrate 3D automated whole breast ultrasound screening in clinical practice as an adjunct to mammography – a powerful additional tool which can help physicians find previously undetectable cancers.

“In women with dense breasts, we can’t see over one-third of breast cancers so we need other technologies, other approaches so the potential of 3D ultrasound in a screening environment is to find these additional cancers that would not have been found with what is now the standard of care,” said Dr. Rachel Brem, Director of Breast Imaging at The George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC.

InSightec Receives FDA Approval for Bone Pain Ultrasound Therapy

InSightec’s ExAblate system is exclusively compatible with GE Healthcare’s normal and wide bore systems, including Signa HDxt 1.5T, Signa HDxt 3.0T, Optima MR450 & 450w, and Discovery MR750 & 750w. It combines therapeutic acoustic ultrasound waves with continuous guidance and treatment monitoring by MRI. This unique combination of technologies is called Magnetic Resonance guided Focused Ultrasound Therapy (MRgFUS). Physicians use the MRI to plan and guide the therapy and monitor treatment outcome. The focused ultrasound acoustic energy destroys the nerves causing the pain from bone metastases, resulting in rapid reduction in pain.

“The FDA approval of ExAblate is an exciting next step in GE’s investment in InSightec,” Tom Gentile, president and CEO of GE Healthcare Systems and InSightec board member. “Pain is the most common and most severe symptom for patient’s suffering from bone cancer; we believe that ExAblate can help significantly improve the quality of life for patients. This is the first approved oncology application of ExAblate and we are excited that InSightec will continue researching in this area to expand the applications of this product.”

* Trademark of General Electric Company.

510(k) pending at U.S. FDA and not available for sale in the U.S.

GE Healthcare at RSNA 2012

Each year in Chicago, the conference of the Radiological Association of North America (RSNA) provides a forum for showcasing the latest innovations in medical imaging. If you are attending the conference, please visit GE Healthcare at booth number 5433 in McCormick Place south hall. Throughout the week of the event, GE Healthcare will distribute news and information using these digital platforms:

About GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.

Our “healthymagination” vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on increasing access and improving quality and affordability around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employees are committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com. For our latest news, please visit http://newsroom.gehealthcare.com.

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