Q&A with Hooman Hakami: Discovery IGS 730 at St. Luke’s Installation
Hooman Hakami, President & CEO, GE Healthcare, Detection & Guidance Solutions (DGS)
Hooman Hakami, President & CEO, GE Healthcare, Detection & Guidance Solutions (DGS), talks about the Discovery IGS 730 and the first installation of this technology in the US, in St. Luke’s Hospital, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
What are the unique features of the Discovery IGS 730 and what ‘problems’ does it aim to address for clinicians?
In the field of interventional imaging, the Discovery IGS 730 is a revolutionary new system designed to address the trade-off departments have historically needed to make between ceiling-and floor-mounted systems It is neither floor- nor ceiling-mounted. Through a laser-guided, motorized mobile gantry, the system moves like a mobile C-arm with the power and image quality of a fixed system. It allows complete access to the patient and unlimited parking capability. We have also added features like a new wide bore design, which allows for steep angles, and ease in 3D acquisition. It also leverages our best-in-class image chain and has over 20 of our most advanced applications on the system. Truly revolutionary.
The first installation of this technology in the US is at St.Luke’s, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Why this hospital?
St. Luke’s has been a wonderful partner over the years. They are a national show-site. They were the first hospital to adopt our digital flat-panel technology over a decade ago. With Dr. Hal Folander & his team, we have a great partner, who are very technology savvy, and who know how to spot innovation that is going to bring clinical value to their institution. So it only made sense that they would be the first in the U.S. to install the IGS 730.
What other installations do you have planned?
We have a total of 8 orders already in hand, and if everything goes according to plan between now and the end of the year, we should have 15-20 orders for the year. This is rather impressive when you think about the adoption curves of new technology, and the fact that this system is a high end product. In terms of installations, by the end of the year we should have installs done in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
GE launched healthymagination a few years ago… How does the Discovery IGS 730 fit into the cost/access/quality equation?
It fits in very well. Discovery enables minimally invasive procedures in the hybrid OR. Minimally invasive procedures (MIS) are beneficial because, among other things, they take less time, and result in a lower length of stay for patients. This results in less complications, lower re-admission rates, and ultimately, lower costs for the hospitals and the healthcare system. Tools, like Discovery, that enable MIS help drive the cost equation in a substantial way. On the access side, these procedures are helping more patients than ever before. Ten years ago, if you needed a new aortic valve but were too weak or too sick for open surgery, you didn't have many alternatives. Today, an aortic valve can be implanted without open surgery and without a heart lung machine, so patients who are not candidates for open surgery now have an option. This is a prime example of a procedure that Discovery helps enable. With respect to quality, Discovery's capabilities allow for capabilities like: better patient access, advanced guidance, navigation and registration applications, and lower radiation dose. Discovery lives up to the promise of providing better, more cost-effective healthcare to more people.
How important is the hybrid OR in tomorrow's hospital, and what role will the Discovery IGS 730 play in this trend?
Minimally invasive (MIS) procedures make up 20% of all interventional procedures, and growing. They are growing because MIS is one of those unique phenomena’s that benefit all constituents in healthcare – easier for the physician, more cost effective for the payor, more efficient for the hospital system, and ultimately, better for the patient. In addition, these procedures are getting more and more complex. As an example, today, you can repair a heart valve with minimally invasive surgery. Not too long ago, this required open-heart surgery and the patient needed to be put on a heart-lung machine. So, the pace of growth and change in this field is remarkable.
As the field grows, there is greater cooperation between surgeons and Interventionalists. Surgeons are used to having mobility, flexibility, and unencumbered patient access. Interventionalists want advanced imaging capability, state-of-the-art applications. Discovery is a perfect fit.
12 months from now, can we expect GE Healthcare to talk about a Second Generation of the system?
You don’t have to wait 12 months,it was at the GE Healthcare booth during RSNA 2012. This is a platform that will continue to evolve. There is nothing like this in the industry, and we intend to keep it that way!
Thank you Hooman and to wrap up what are the 3 words that come to your mind when hearing the name “Discovery IGS 730”?
Revolutionary, leadership and winning.
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