GE Healthcare at JFR
Twelve months on and we meet again Robert Sigal, Country Manager at GE Healthcare France. What will GE Healthcare highlight this year at JFR 2011?
As every year we are very excited and proud to be present at JFR, the leading French radiology congress. We are particularly enthusiastic this year because we are going to present more innovations that will better serve our customers’ needs and that of their patients.
First of all, we come with a fantastic comprehensive offering to monitor and therefore help physicians reduce dose exposure not only at equipment level but also at facility level and patient level. Dosewatch is software that allows radiologists to monitor dose levels across multiple modalities and multiple equipment.
We are also very proud to present our spectral imaging technology in CT, the new Logiq S8, an ultrasound machine built on the technology of our great success Logic E9. Last but not least we are going to come out with two star products in MR: the Optima MR 450w GEM which has already started a brilliant career in France (Creil Hospital), and our musculoskeletal dedicated unit, the Optima MR 430s.
The global economy is still proving tough but companies continue to attend congresses. How does GE Healthcare view these and why is it important for GE Healthcare to be present?
There is no better place to meet our customers than at events like JFR. Of course, due to global economy, budgets are scarce but we strongly believe that we need to support the radiology industry particularly in France as it is a big market for GE Healthcare. As the leading medical imaging company in terms of market share in France, it is our role and duty to be present at such leading industry events.
France is also a country in which GE Healthcare has invested a lot in. At our Buc site (Yvelines), with more than 400 engineers and researchers, we have our Centre of Excellence (R&D), related to Mammography, Interventional and 3D Advanced Imaging software.
Jeff Immelt, GE’s CEO recently announced a $1B investment in Oncology Solutions. What does this investment mean for GE Healthcare’s business in France?
As a healthcare company our main objective is to recognise and help solve healthcare issues our modern world is facing. Oncology is probably one of the major ones. This $1B investment will help us develop partnerships with local actors. In France, we have a long and fruitful relationship with major oncology centres such as Institut Gustave Roussy, APHP, and several other University Hospitals, and we will continue to foster new ones.
We are coming to the end of Breast Cancer Awareness month, can you explain what GE Healthcare has done to this effect with a focus on France?
I am very proud to share with you the fact that we have done numerous things to support Breast Cancer Awareness month and every year the Company comes up with new initiatives. This year at a global level, in different locations and at different times, we are organising 25 human pink ribbons to support this campaign. In France we have created 3: with our sales force during our kick-off meeting at JFR, at the Champs de Mars (over 300 employees attended), and also at our Limonest office. In addition, and for the second consecutive year, GE France has again been a major sponsor of Odyssea, a running contest supporting Breast Cancer Awareness. Employees and their families took part; walking or running either 5KM or 10KM dependent on their sporting spirit. Finally in Buc, we organised an informative session (including presentations from leading clinicians), for employees to know more about this disease and the role our company plays through our technologies in the fight against it. We are determined to continue our work in this field, addressing one of the cancers that if caught early can lead to a high survival rate.
Healthymagination is GE Healthcare’s vision, what feedback are you proud of having heard from your customers?
Controlling cost, improving quality and access have become the major challenges for French Healthcare authorities. There is not a meeting today either with Hospital CEOs or Directors of regional healthcare agencies (ARS) or other Minister of Health officials during which we are not part of, and where our ‘healthymagination’ is openly shared with such stakeholders. In France, even leaders from the private radiology sector understand it is key to resolve these issues if we want to keep our healthcare system sustainable.
The future of GE Healthcare France?
Based on the company’s solid track record for technology and commercial excellence, GE Healthcare France is preparing to face a market that might change in the coming years, particularly because of financial pressure. As a company, we will continue to broaden our technology portfolio (imaging, acute care, neonatal, IT, cardiology, contrast media and biomarkers), in order to continue addressing healthcare needs. In addition, since one year ago, GE Healthcare has greatly strengthened its consulting branch and will continue doing so to better support our customers.