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Q&A: Bringing Healthymagination to France at JFR2010

GE Healthcare joins JFR2010 (Journées Françaises de Radiologie) bringing innovation through its healthymagination strategy. Robert Sigal, President for GE Healthcare France, shares with us the technologies introduced at this annual radiology meeting in France and the numerous examples of how the company's healthymagination strategy is being applied in the country.

What is GE Healthcare highlighting at JFR 2010?
We are very excited to be introducing at JFR,GE Healthcare's SenoBright™* Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography (CESM) . Our latest CT scanner, Optima CT660 will also be showcased. This is GE ecomagination-certified and has been validated under the healthymagination initiative. These are two of GE’s global initiatives aimed at transforming healthcare delivery through innovations, partnerships and sustainability. Today, one of the biggest challenges in CT imaging is obtaining ultra-precise images of the inside of a patient's body while at the same time keeping radiation dose as low as possible. Key technologies such as ASIR low-dose technology were adopted from GE's Discovery™ CT750 HD platform for the Optima CT660. Incorporating ASIR, the Optima CT660 can help physicians reduce X-ray radiation by up to 40% compared to conventional filtered back projection. The innovation energy concept also reduces energy consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 60% compared to previous generations of CT equipment. In addition we will have on display other products in ultrasound, X-ray, Molecular Imaging.

* The SenoBright option cannot be put into service until it has been made to comply with CE marking. It may not be available in all regions, and it is not cleared or approved for sale in the U.S. by the FDA.
GEHC news: What is the significance of this news for physicians and for patients?

What is the significance of this news for physicians and for patients?   
At GE Healthcare we spend a lot of time listening to our customers to better understand the challenges they face and in turn know exactly what their needs are. Conversations can take place in a clinical environment to fully grasp how our technologies are being used. However, at GE Healthcare, we view congresses such as JFR a great way to extend the conversation beyond the current available technologies and discuss what a key industry player like ourselves can do in the future to address the healthcare challenges our customers are facing in their day-to-day practice. JFR has always been a very important congress for GE Healthcare with over 1,500 customer passing by each day and approximately, 700 attending our symposiums.

The new technologies on display allow for enhanced visualization and greater workflow improvement, both of which meant at increasing confidence for the physician, which ultimately means enhanced care for patients.

Tell us a little bit about GE Healthcare's French business
France is a big bet country for GE Healthcare with lots of opportunities to help the local government improve healthcare access, quality and cost. We have approximately 2,500 employees employed in France, of which over 1,700 are located in Buc, Yvelines, close to Paris. Of these 1,700, approximately 400 researchers working hand in hand with the French health and research network, in particular with competitiveness clusters (Medicen, Innovation Therapeutique de Strasbourg, Toulouse Biohealth Pole).

Buc is our Worldwide Centre of Research, Development and Production of Mammography equipment, vascular systems, clinical software and radiology tubes.

  • Mammography: over 700 systems produced per year. Buc is the only mammo production site with systems exported globally.
  • Vascular systems: development and production in Buc of the new biplane vascular system for interventional neuroradiology. More than 70 systems set up throughout the world. In addition, we are also producing around 500 Single planes per year for the global market.
  • Software: the Buc site is the worldwide centre for developing software for analysis and image processing, of decision assistance and tele-expertise.

The site is very active in environmental, health and safety. It is also implementing measures to reduce CO2 emissions by means of programmes to renovate and improve facilities.

Working closely with research centers and French universities and using clinical assessments carried out in partnership with most of the French teaching hospitals, GE Healthcare has participated in medical firsts in France and is continuously looking for new opportunities.

Can you please give to two concrete French business examples that relate to the Company’s healthymagination vision?
Our healthymagination vision is focused on providing solutions across the continuum of care that reduce costs, increase access and improve quality.

One key example of what we're doing in France with regards to putting into practice this vision is the creation of our Performance Solutions business. With GE Healthcare's acquisition of Sanesco (to be part of Performance Solutions) in May, 2010, we continue to strengthen our position as a key player in healthcare advisory services and, in particular, in our response to the tender program of the Agence Nationale d'Appui à la Performance (ANAP). The ANAP program aims at improving process efficiency, quality of care and increasing staff satisfaction in more than 50 public hospitals across France. The consortium led by GE Healthcare, which already included Sanesco, has been selected to bid for the major public healthcare improvement and change programs initiated by the French government.

Another example of healthymagination in France includes, the consortium GE Healthcare-Orange Business Services has been recently awarded with the Filmless Region project launched by Ile de France Healthcare Agency. The offering named Shared Medical Imaging, now under construction, is accessible to all medical imaging providers in Ile de France. It groups three different services types: archiving, archiving + PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System), archiving + PACS + RIS (Radiology Information System). The way it works is through a centralized service provider platform requiring only, a few equipment on site and works with secured connections.

What can we expect from GE Healthcare France in the next 2 to 5 years?
France is a key market for GE Healthcare globally and we will continue to invest and develop technologies in Buc in light of our healthymagination strategy. Working with key medical institutions will continue to be critical for our business in France, as this is a great way for us to test our new product ideas. An example of great collaborative work with leading institutes relates to our latest digital mammography system, the SenoBright. Both the Insitute Gustave Roussy (IGR) and the Institut Marie Curie played a key role in the clinical trials for this new technology, launched in June, 2010, being showcased for the first time at JFR this year. Going forward, we will continue to strengthen our current academic ties but also endeavor to look for new opportunities.

From a technology standpoint, 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.

With our newly established Performance Solutions business we will continue to deliver leading methodologies and technologies in operational excellence, Lean Six Sigma and change management to healthcare providers and payors in France. Application of such expertise in hospital operations has proven in the past its potential to significantly improve efficiencies and quality like improvement of patient throughput in an operating room by 15-20% and more, or an increase of 30% in the number of patients scanned in diagnostic departments, while cutting waiting times in half.

This document is not intended for U.S. media or U.S. customers, and includes products that have not been cleared or approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for sale in the U.S