Prahlad Singh, General Manager, Women’s Health, GE Healthcare – Detection & Guidance Solutions (DGS)
GE Healthcare at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), 2013
As part of GE Healthcare’s ongoing commitment to accelerating cancer innovation and assembling tools to fight cancer, we took some time at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), 2013, and spoke with Prahlad Singh, General Manager, Women’s Health, GE Healthcare – Detection & Guidance Solutions (DGS).
During this annual meeting hosted in Chicago May 31 – June 3, which brings together the oncology community to focus on “Building Bridges to Conquer Cancer,” Prahlad shared with us why the company attends such a show but more importantly what they discussed with customers and what the future holds for his part of the business within GE Healthcare.
Why is GE Healthcare’s Women’s Health division engaged in an Oncology congress?
In September 2011, GE created the healthymagination Challenge to identify and accelerate ideas to advance breast cancer early detection and diagnostics, and ultimately help save lives affected by breast cancer. Making an impact on cancer and the people it affects takes more than a global effort; it requires a pledge for rapid innovation. GE is committing $1 billion in dedicated cancer-related research and development in addition to helping clinicians deliver care to 10 million patients by 2020. We reach these goals together by enabling more accurate diagnoses and better treatment through faster, more effective technologies, which is the ultimate goal of the Women’s Health business. At congresses such as ASCO our objective is to share with customers the broad array of technologies and solutions that could help them in their daily work in the fight against cancer.
What innovations will Women’s Health present at the show
At the GE Healthcare booth, we will proudly showcase one of our latest innovations in breast imaging, SenoBright* Contrast-Enhanced Spectral Mammography. This technology which saw the first installation in the United States at the Pink Lotus Breast Centre, Los Angeles, less than a year ago, is a real breakthrough for digital mammography as it brings functional information about the tumor you won’t be able to depict with standard mammography. In other words, it brings more information & quicker for the diagnosis of breast cancer. It also helps shorten the waiting time and reduces the anxiety level of women waiting for a clear diagnostic.
Some people are of the school of thought that there is little point in a company attending a congress with the same story two years suit, what is your thought on this?
GE Healthcare’s commitment to cancer is not a short term initiative. It is a sustained corporate commitment to help diagnose diseases early and work with health care providers to save lives. Our goal is to provide a total solutions approach to our customers by bringing our portfolio of products from across GE Healthcare together and that is what you will see at this congress. In addition, some innovations are not one-off and continue to evolve. SenoBright is one of such innovations. Our customers continue to be very enthusiastic about SenoBright, and so have asked us to be more visible, to present more clinical images collected worldwide and, to explore further how much value this technology can bring. At ASCO this year, we will showcase an Atlas of clinical cases built with breast images of different pathologies, to help illustrate how contrast-enhanced spectral images can help in the diagnosis of breast cancer.
What trends do you foresee in the mammography devices area and how is GE Healthcare preparing itself for this?
At GE Healthcare we discuss with our customers every day. What they tell us is that they need more information, more elements of diagnostic for women who have specific breast characteristics, such as a high breast density, implants, surgical scars etc. That’s why we are continuously innovating with advanced applications such as SenoBright and Tomosynthesis, but also in new ways to display images, to adapt to the reader’s preference, with a new software called Premium View implants (PVi). In addition, we also discuss with the patient, the women who come for their yearly mammogram, with or without symptoms. What they are telling us is that they want a better experience during the examination itself. Did you know that in the United States, 1 women out of 4 do not perform screening mammograms because of fear of the exam?** We have heard them loud and clear and just recently GE Healthcare launched the SensorySuite*, a unique interactive experience to reduce the perceived anxiety of women during the mammography examination.
Are you able to tell us what you hope to unveil at this show next year or, where you’d like to have the Women’s Health business positioned in the marketplace?
We see our Women’s health business providing the enabling tools and solutions to health care providers to help them diagnose women’s diseases early. Our vision is to be the preferred partner of physicians and patients in Women’s health management.
* – Trademark of General Electric Company.
** – Two distinct groups of non-attenders in an organized mammography screening program, Arja R Aro, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 70: 145-153, 2001.