Partnerships: GE announces projects with Beaumont, University of Mississippi
GE Healthcare has entered into a product development partnership with the Beaumont Technology Usability Center (BTUC) to improve the safety and ease of use of their medical technologies. BTUC engineers and clinical staff will assist the manufacturer through collaborative product development, usability testing and human factors engineering. The two organizations first collaborated in 2006 with a project to advance a telemetry monitoring system, a medical device that monitors patients' vital signs and triggers an alarm when a critical arrhythmia is detected.

The additional project commenced in January, with the organizations seeking to improve GE's ultrasound components. "Based on the product development successes resulting from GE's relationship with the BTUC, we are very pleased to begin this next project," said Alejandro Galindo, GE Healthcare's global service technology manager, Ultrasound Probes. "We are beginning this project in the early stage of conceptual design to gain valuable inputs to our prototype development. In this way, BTUC will improve customer satisfaction, speed our overall development time and save the cost of potential product rework in the later stages of design."

GE Healthcare also announced a research agreement with the University of Mississippi Medical Center to find a noninvasive, less costly way to detect cardiovascular disease. The study is expected to focus on Mississippi’s African-American population. In the study, researchers from GE and the University of Mississippi will use GE’s Vivid technology to examine a large, random sample of African-Americans via ultrasound. The study could either confirm or rule out ultrasound as a useful, noninvasive tool to aid in the detection of heart disease and stroke while helping to explain the high incidence of heart disease and stroke in the south.