GE Healthcare unveils new medical imaging offerings

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GE Healthcare introduced its new LightSpeed VCT (volume computed tomography) scanner at ACC 2004. The system enables high-resolution imaging of organs in one second and whole-body scanning in less than 10 seconds. The LightSpeed VCT detector enables 64 slices with 40mm coverage and is equipped with the company's Performix Pro x-ray tube.

GE plans to make the scanner commercially available later this year. The LightSpeed VCT has received FDA 510(k) clearance

GE also displayed its Innova 3100 imaging system for both cardiac and peripheral studies in a single lab. The Innova 3100 affords physicians the ability to see and maneuver small medical devices, such as stents, catheters and guidewires. The system features GE's Revolution digital flat-panel detector technology and is optimized for cardiac, angiographic, interventional and neurological applications.

Also new at ACC 2004 was GE's Discovery PET-CT cardiac imaging technology, which provides metabolic and anatomical data, including a heart perfusion at stress and at rest, CT angiography and cardiac calcium score.

A new application called HeartFusion is designed to align the vascular coronary tree created by CT images on the 3D functional data from positron emission tomography (PET) images. Discovery PET-CT with HeartFusion will allow physicians to quantify and analyze the impact of atherosclerotic lesions on the heart muscle.

HeartFusion was developed by Emory University and is offered exclusively through GE Healthcare through a license agreement with Syntermed Inc.

In ultrasound, GE has added Vivid 4 to its portfolio for cardiac, vascular, pediatrics, surgical monitoring, abdominal and ob/gyn. The storage of digital loops in Vivid 4enables a provider to show saved images to surgeons without repeating a TEE exam or rewinding video tape.

GE Healthcare also announced at ACC that it will fund a new Fellowship research awards program through the ACC Foundation.

The goal of the three-year, $530,000 contribution will be to offer financial support through research grants to cardiologists who have recently completed their training. GE is the first medical technology provider to partner with the ACC on an award program of this kind.

The ACC Fellowship award program, while funded by GE, will be administered entirely by the ACC. Procedures for applying for the research Fellowships and specific criteria will be posted on the ACC website at  www.acc.org. The first class of Fellows will be named in the first quarter of 2005.