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Q&A: GE Healthcare Showcases Innovations in Interventional Cardiology


Hooman Hakami

EuroPCR, the leading international congress dedicated to the cardiovascular community, is back in Paris this year. This congress represents an exciting opportunity for those involved in the cardiovascular field to discuss the challenges encountered, potential solutions and consider the future, with a view to translating the latest scientific research into clinical practice.

Hooman Hakami, president and CEO for Interventional Systems at GE Healthcare, provides his insight into two new technologies being announced at the show today —  Innova EPVision image fusion software and new compatibility for Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR) evaluation with the Mac-Lab XT and XTi hemodynamic recording systems.

What new innovations is GE Healthcare highlighting at EuroPCR 2010?

We are excited to introduce several innovations at this year's EuroPCR. They include enhanced StentViz capabilities, multimodality in-room 3D capabilities controllable by a dedicated in-room 3D mouse at tableside, Innova Vision Technologies (see videos below), and our Mac-Lab hemodynamic recoding system with true FFR integration expanded to support both the St. Jude Pressurewire Aeris Wireless and the Volcano's SmartMap Pressure.

What is the significance of this news for physicians, and for patients?

Enhanced visualization and greater workflow improvement, both of which mean more confidence for the physician, which ultimately means enhanced care for patients.

In what ways is GE Healthcare involved with cardiovascular disease?

Our healthymagination vision is focused on providing solutions across the continuum of care that reduce costs, increase access and improve quality. Helping our customers more effectively treat cardiovascular disease is a critical part of this vision.  At GE Healthcare, we have one of the richest and one of the most integrated cardiovascular solutions portfolios.  It ranges from dedicated cardiovascular ultrasound to interventional systems including the cardiovascular x-ray, hemodynamic recording systems, ICE, IVUS, with dedicated cardiac applications and contrast media.  All of this is complemented with tailored service offerings.

Tell us a little bit about GE Healthcare's interventional business.

Our Interventional Systems business is a global business, that is made up of two components: vascular X-ray systems and invasive recording devices for both hemodynamic and electrophysiology. Our customers are very diverse, and include interventional cardiologists, interventional radiologists, interventional neuroradiologists, electrophysiologists, as well as vascular and cardiac surgeons. Our purpose as a business is to help our customers treat cardiovascular disease and cancer so people can lead longer and fuller lives.  We look to fulfill that role by developing solutions that converge human skill with innovative technologies. Central to this is the notion that we need to be organized around our customers, and as such, we have four global business units within our Interventional Systems organization, each aligned to and focused on delivering unique solutions to meet the needs of our unique customers.

How does GE Healthcare's interventional business relate to the company’s healthymagination vision?
In our view, the goals of healthymagination and the goals of our business are completely aligned. Take one element of the healthymagination vision — increasing access.  For example, in China today, approximately 1.5 millionpeople need a percutaneous coronary intervention. That’s roughly the same as in the U.S.  However, in the U.S. today the number of people who get this procedure is approximately 8-10 times higher than in China.  This is due to a number of reasons, but it represents a great opportunity for us to provide solutions that help address this imbalance, and ultimately enhance the level of patient care — not only in China, but also around the world.  

What can we expect from GE Healthcare in the next 2 to 5 years?
We are exploring a range of innovative technologies from incremental enhancements to revolutionary technologies. We will continue to drive innovation in existing areas of strength such as advanced visualization, image quality and dose, but you can also expect to see innovation from us in newer areas as well, such as navigation and guidance.  As we do, you can expect to see us play a broader role in the total interventional segment.