Healthcare Industry News:  GE Healthcare 

Devices Radiology Oncology Cardiology

 News Release - May 25, 2006

GE Healthcare Announces First Installation of the Discovery VCT, the World's First Volumetric PET/CT System

Breakthrough Molecular Imaging Technology Installed at Brigham and Women's Hospital

Volume Imaging Ushering in a New Era of Rapid, Less Invasive Cardiology


WAUKESHA, Wis.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--May 25, 2006--GE Healthcare announced today the first installation of the company's new Discovery VCT, the world's first true 64-slice combination positron emission tomography and volume computed tomography (PET/CT) system for cardiac imaging applications at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. GE's new Discovery VCT has the potential to transform the way physicians diagnose and treat heart disease and other life-threatening illnesses.

The Discovery VCT marries the high-speed, high-resolution capabilities of GE's volumetric CT with the metabolic and physiologic capabilities of its industry leading PET system. By combining these scanning technologies, the Discovery VCT provides the tools to enable physicians to more accurately diagnose and identify heart disease and other conditions, including cancer and neurological disorders.

"We are entering a new era of less invasive cardiology in which PET/CT imaging will play a major role in managing heart disease," said Joe Hogan, president and CEO of GE Healthcare. "Combining the functional capabilities of PET with the speed and resolution of volume CT will revolutionize cardiac imaging and transform the diagnosis and treatment decisions of heart disease."

Much like a gardener can visually assess areas of a lawn that are not getting sufficient water supply, with Discovery PET technology physicians can assess areas of the heart that are not getting sufficient blood supply, and are thus not viable. In determining root cause, the gardener can look for blockages in the irrigation system; similarly, physicians can look for stenosis in the coronary arteries using the LightSpeed VCT.

"GE's Discovery VCT enables me to access essential functional and anatomical patient data, including perfusion map at rest and peak cardiac stress, CT angiography and cardiac calcium score, all in one setting," said Dr. Marcelo Di Carli, director of Nuclear Medicine/PET and Co-Director of Cardiovascular Imaging at Brigham and Women's Hospital. "The information made available through the Discovery VCT enables me to quickly and accurately diagnose cardiac patients, eliminating unnecessary invasive diagnostic procedures while guiding more appropriate treatment decisions."

Leveraging the Innovation of GE's LightSpeed VCT to Further Enhance Cardiac Imaging

GE originally designed the LightSpeed VCT, the world's first volume CT system introduced in 2004, to easily integrate with its PET technology.

"Developing the world's only volumetric, 64-slice PET/CT is a logical extension of our success with the LightSpeed VCT," said Gene Saragnese vice president and general manager of GE Healthcare's global Molecular Imaging and CT business.

The LightSpeed VCT is able to noninvasively capture images of the heart and coronary arteries in fewer than five heartbeats -- something no other CT system can offer. In a single rotation, the system creates 64 credit-card-thin images, totaling 40 millimeters of anatomical coverage. These images are combined to form a three-dimensional view of the patient's anatomy for the physician to analyze.

"The Discovery VCT, like the LightSpeed VCT, was built for physicians based on their clinical needs, from the ground up," said Saragnese. "The speed and resolution of the LightSpeed VCT combined with the functional capabilities of PET will keep GE at the forefront of diagnostic cardiovascular care."

GE the Industry Leader in Cardiac PET/CT

GE's flagship Discovery PET/CT system is the cardiac PET/CT market leader, providing physicians with anatomical and physiological information and improving diagnostic confidence when assessing coronary artery disease and cardiac viability. GE has invested more than $160 million in the research and development of hybrid imaging technology and holds 25 related patents.

The company first began its work combining images with the development of the GE Millennium VG Hawkeye SPECT/CT system in 1999, and launched the first commercially available PET/CT, the Discovery LS, in 2001.

About GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies that are shaping a new age of patient care. GE Healthcare's expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring and life support systems, disease research, drug discovery, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies is helping physicians detect disease earlier and to tailor personalized treatments for patients. GE Healthcare offers a broad range of products and services that are improving productivity in healthcare and enhancing patient care by enabling healthcare providers to better diagnose and treat cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases, and other conditions.

GE Healthcare is a $15 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE ) headquartered in the United Kingdom. Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 43,000 people 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


Source: GE Healthcare

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