Heikki Kovalainen, F1 Driver
With two Finnish drivers amongst the 24 on the F1 circuit in 2012 Finland is an enthusiastic follower of the sport followed by some 600 million people around the globe.
Heikki Kovalainen was given a short demonstration of the GE Healthcare CARESCAPE* B650 and B850 patient monitors, which are designed and partly manufactured in Helsinki. Patient monitors are used in the Intensive Care Unit, Cardiac Care Unit, Operating Room, Post-Anesthesia Care Unit, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and Emergency Departments to monitor patients’ vital signs like respiratory rate and heart rate.
These CARESCAPE monitors are deployed during race days at the Formula 1 Santander British Grand Prix at Silverstone, UK, and used for drivers, team members and spectators alike. During the F1 weekend there may be up to 300,000 spectators at Silverstone. The monitors are coupled with GE Healthcare anaesthetic machines which are used in cases of emergency where a surgery is required – thankfully a rare occurrence.
GE is sponsoring the Caterham F1 Team for a second season this year with the long term goal of focusing on enhancing and developing car technology. Heikki has some first-hand experience of GE’s research capabilities, having visited GE’s Niskayuna research center in New York, USA, last year. In addition to vehicle technology, Caterham is looking to utilize GE Healthcare’s body composition technologies with the team and the drivers to help them train and prepare for races.
Heikki first visited Lastenklinikka children’s hospital in Helsinki, which treats 27,000 young patients a year focusing on rare and serious children’s illnesses. Heikki raced electric cars with some patients and visited those who were unable to leave their hospital beds. He spent time talking with young patients and their families as well as with the staff who were all delighted to see the sports star.
Heikki then met the children of many GE Healthcare Finland employees who had a chance to talk to him and have pictures taken together. On GE’s Health Ahead programme aimed at helping employees on the road to healthier living, he said: “It is great to hear that there are programs to help employees to live healthy lifestyles.”
*Trademark of General Electric Company
Heikki Kovalainen meets with GE Healthcare Finland employees’ children