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How Can Disruptive Innovation Help To Meet the Challenges Facing UK Healthcare?

Karl Blight, GE Healthcare’s General Manager for Northern Europe, was speaking at the UK Radiology Congress (UKRC) in Manchester, UK.

Karl Blight, GE Healthcare’s General Manager for Northern Europe, was speaking at the UK Radiology Congress (UKRC) in Manchester, UK.

GE Healthcare’s Chief Economist, Mitch Higashi, recently noted at a global summit on healthy aging that, “the increasing demand on our hospitals to achieve more with less money will create a disruptive decade for the healthcare industry.”

Karl Blight, GE Healthcare’s General Manager for Northern Europe said: “Disruption’ has always carried negative connotations; I remember misbehaving classmates at school being chastised for being disruptive! But today, positive disruption to the status quo is what the healthcare industry needs to change its trajectory and improve patient outcomes.

“At the UK Radiology Congress (UKRC) in Manchester this week, we’re talking to UK healthcare providers about innovations developed to address the challenges they face day to day. These are not only technology based, but innovations in how technology is applied and utilized across a patient’s pathway.”

GE Healthcare’s challenge is an important one: to help improve clinicians’ experience, speed up the patient pathway, and unlock efficiencies in the healthcare system, whilst improving patient outcomes.

Blight explained: “GE’s Discovery(1) IGS740 is a good example. It’s specifically designed to improve clinical efficiency in the operating room, whilst also offering high quality imaging. The fact that it is free standing rather than tethered to the floor or ceiling means that it avoids unnecessary restrictions on a physician’s mobility in the theatre. This means the patient can be imaged at any point during a procedure, so operating theatres can be used for a wider range of procedures than would have been previously possible with fixed imaging systems.”

Revolution CT image of the pelvis: fast body imaging with 4 volumes 120kV / 280mA / 0.5sec rotation / BMI 29 / 10mSv.

Revolution CT image of the pelvis: fast body imaging with 4 volumes 120kV / 280mA / 0.5sec rotation / BMI 29 / 10mSv.

Elsewhere in imaging, Revolution™(2) CT(3)is an ultrafast scanner which enables clinicians to non-invasively visualize the human heart, for instance, more clearly than ever before. It has been designed to image patients with complicating factors such as high heart rates or metallic implants and can capture a motion free, high definition image of the heart in just one beat.

Patient experience is another important innovation area for GE Healthcare. During an imaging procedure it is important to ensure a patient stays still. This improves image quality and reduces the likelihood of a repeat scan. This is why GE Healthcare has developed Silent Scan software that dramatically reduces the noise a patient hears during a magnetic resonance examination.  Patient time on the table and rescans can also be limited with the help of GE’s OEC Brivo Plus surgical C-arm.

“Helping our customers manage and monitor dose is another important area.  For us, effective dose management is about resources, training and culture, not just technology” said Blight.  GE Healthcare recently launched its ‘Dose Blueprint’ in Europe, to coincide with the recently published European Directive which includes specific measures regarding the use of radiation for medical treatments and diagnostics.

GE is also continuously looking at innovative ways to improve operational efficiency of UK hospitals. Data sharing across clinical teams and locations enables collaboration on complex patient cases. Pathology, for example, is involved in 95% of patient care pathways in the NHS(4).  GE’s Omnyx(5) is currently transforming pathology practice from analogue to digital at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, making it easier and quicker for pathologists to work together and to connect with subspecialists who can diagnose complex disease areas.

Blight concluded: “The right kind of innovation, technologically and operationally, can play a positively disruptive role in creating sustainable healthcare in the UK. Inevitably this can mean adopting new ways of working, and it is the responsibility of each and every healthcare professional across the public and private sectors to be open to this change and to recognize its great potential benefits.”



1 – Trademark of General Electric Company
2 – Trademark of General Electric Company
3- 510(k) FDA approved.Not CE marked and cannot be placed on the market or put into service in the relevant countries until they have obtained all required regulatory authorizations.
5 – Omnyx(TM) products are for in vitro diagnostic use for specific clinical applications, and are intended for research use only on other applications.
Omnyx DPS and VL4/VL120 are CE Marked under the European Union’s ‘In Vitro Diagnostics Devices Directive’ for routine diagnostic use.
Omnyx DPS and VL4 are licensed by Health Canada for routine diagnostic use.
Omnyx DPS and VL4 are 510(k) cleared only for Manual Read of the Digital HER2 Application on the Omnyx IDP System in the US.


More Information

GE Healthcare at UKRC 2014

Revolution CT

Silent Scan

Hybrid OR

UKRC 2014