Healthcare Industry News:  Senographe 

Devices Radiology

 News Release - June 6, 2007

GE Healthcare to Supply Full Field Digital Mammography Units (FFDM) to Breastcheck in Ireland, One of the First Countries in Europe to Go Digital

BreastCheck, the National Breast Screening Programme in Ireland is Part of the National Cancer Screening Service

Ireland, One of the First Countries in Europe to Entirely Use Digital Mammography for Breast Screening Services Provided by BreastCheck

Of the 29 Digital Mammography Units to Be Installed across the Country, 13 Will be GE Healthcare's Full Field Digital Mammography (FFDM), Senographe(TM) Essential, of which 6 Will Be Mobile

Mobile Mammography Will Aim to Increase Women's Attendance by Taking Mammography Screening to Women Screened under the BreastCheck Programme


DUBLIN, Ireland--(HSMN NewsFeed)--GE Healthcare, world leader in digital mammography technology today announces supplying Full Field Digital Mammography (FFDM) units to BreastCheck - part of the Irish National Cancer Screening Service. Ireland to become, one of the first countries in Europe to entirely use digital mammography for breast screening services provided by BreastCheck. Out of a total of 29 digital mammography systems installed across the country, 13 GE Healthcare Senographe(TM) Essential full-field digital mammography (FFDM) units will be installed, with 6 of the 13 systems being mobile units.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the world and more than 1.3 million people annually are diagnosed with breast cancer, according to the World Health Organization. Industry experts believe that the five-year survival rate in cases of early detection of breast cancer is 97 percent.

According to the National Cancer Registry Office Ireland, the most common cancer in women is breast cancer, which accounts for 28% of all cancers in Ireland. Breast cancer is particularly virulent and 18.5% of all cancer related deaths in women in Ireland are due to breast cancer.

For Ireland, GE Healthcare's advanced mammography technology will mean a shift in the reach of medical care allowing doctors to increase patient workflow, take medical care to patients in even the most remote areas of Ireland. The main objective is to increase the attendance rate of women invited for screening in order to improve early detection of breast cancer.

Since 1965, GE Healthcare has been a leader in the field of mammography and worldwide more than 2,200 systems have been installed. Last year GE introduced the Senographe(TM) Essential making this the third generation of digital systems since 1999, with a recent 200th install. The Senographe Essential has a large field of view which means it can accommodate a great diversity of breast shapes and sizes. Large breasts can now be imaged in one view thereby increasing speed of examination and better patient comfort.

It is estimated that more than 25 million women and breast cancer patients come across GE Healthcare technologies, based on the number of systems installed and products used around the world

"At GE Healthcare our vision of 'early health' and our advanced technologies allow us to support clinicians around the world to diagnose disease quicker, with more detail, increased image quality, and at an earlier stage. As such, our Senographe Essential system allows a woman go through her screening mammogram, diagnostic work-ups, and a biopsy, if needed, all on the same system." said David Caumartin, General Manager, Global Mammography, GE Healthcare.

"We are very pleased to work with GE Healthcare as a supplier of the latest mammography technologies. Aside from its proven high image quality, the reduced time required by our radiographers to carry out the mammogram and review the images was also a considerable advantage when choosing the Senographe Essential. The robustness of GE Healthcare's mobile unit was also something put to the test for vibrations impact during 8000 km across Ireland and the UK. Radiographers concluded positively on the digital equipment and workflow in the new mobile environment," said Niall Phelan, Chief Physicist, BreastCheck.

According to the OECD(1), 75% of patients diagnosed with breast cancer at Stage 0 are said to have close to 100% survival rate, while at Stage 4 the survival rates drop between 20% to 40%. In addition, treatment cost is six times more when diagnosis is made at Stage 4 than at Stage 0. As such, these statistics clearly show how critically important it is to have breast cancer detected earlier, not only due to financial savings but also due to greater longevity of women.

"We are confident that our 6 GE mobile units will assist us in bringing the screening service to women across a wider geographical area as our breast screening programme expands nationwide" added Phelan.

"As we continue our advancements in the fight against breast cancer we are very proud to contribute through our advanced medical technologies to screening programmes such as the one in Ireland. Serving as a cornerstone for the future of digital mammography, the Senographe Essential's ergonomics and industry-unique capabilities are proving beneficial and convenient to radiologists. GE Healthcare's Senographe Essential mobile unit will also aim to optimize doctors' utilization by bringing required services to the demand of diverse populations and to remote areas" added Caumartin.

(1) http://www.oecd.org

ABOUT GE HEALTHCARE

GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, performance improvement, drug discovery, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies is helping clinicians around the world re-imagine new ways to predict, diagnose, inform, treat and monitor disease, so patients can live their lives to the fullest.

GE Healthcare's broad range of products and services enable healthcare providers to better diagnose and treat cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases and other conditions earlier. Our vision for the future is to enable a new "early health" model of care focused on earlier diagnosis, pre-symptomatic disease detection and disease prevention. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $17 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE ). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 46,000 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

ABOUT BREASTCHECK

BreastCheck, The National Breast Screening Programme is an Irish government funded mammography screening service. It aims to provide an effective breast screening service to the highest possible quality, so that the maximum number of breast cancers can be detected at the earliest possible stage. BreastCheck aims to reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer in Ireland amongst women aged 50 - 64.

BreastCheck provides a free breast screening service to eligible women by personal invitation every two years. The programme screens systematically on an area-by-area basis in each service area reflecting electoral divisions. BreastCheck works with a multi-disciplinary team approach to the screening of women involving specialist clinicians, radiographers and breast care nurses. The service includes mammography, diagnosis and primary treatment.

BreastCheck currently provides screening to women in the northeast, east, midlands and parts of the south east of the country through two static units (the Eccles Screening Unit adjacent to the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and the Merrion Screening Unit adjacent to St.Vincent's University Hospital) and a fleet of mobile units. In 2005 78,945 women were invited for screening by BreastCheck and 59,443 women attended appointments.

BreastCheck is expanding the service nationally to offer screening to all eligible women throughout the southern and western regions of the Ireland. The screening programme will be extended nationwide and the target date for commencement of expansion programme is by the end of autumn 2007.

A Southern screening unit is being built in Cork, on the campus of South Infirmary Victoria Hospital and a Western screening unit will be located on the campus of University College Hospital, Galway. These units, together with a fleet of mobile units will provide screening to the rest of the country.

Following national expansion of the breast screening programme in Ireland the upper age limit will be extended to women aged 69, in accordance with the European Councils recommendation.


Source: GE Healthcare

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