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GE introduces compact ultrasound system for women

Waukesha, Wis. - A product billed as the world's first and only compact ultrasound system specifically for women's healthcare has received federal approval and now is commercially available in the United States.

GE Healthcare, a $15 billion unit of General Electric Co., has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance for the Voluson i, a compact ultrasound system with 4D imaging capabilities. The technology is designed specifically for women's healthcare, including obstetric, gynecological, and other clinical applications.

Omar Ishrak, president and CEO of GE Healthcare's clinical systems business, called the Voluson i a technology breakthrough for women's healthcare. "The Voluson i will support a completely new level of efficiency for OB/GYN physicians, enabling them to deliver patient care anywhere it's needed," he said.

The company also believes the compact system, which was showcased May 8-10 at the annual Clinical Meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, can expand the reach and clinical benefits of 4D and volume imaging. According to GE Healthcare, the technology allows clinicians to make real-time diagnoses, particularly for high-risk patients, by providing 4D imaging wherever the patient is located. 4-D is an advanced type of diagnostic imaging.

The system features a portable design that weighs slightly more than the average newborn, a benefit that will enable facilities of all sizes - including community and rural clinics and mobile imaging services - to offer 4D imaging as the standard of care for prenatal women.
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GE Healthcare learned of a need for more specialized, point-of-care systems to meet growing demands of OB/GYN physicians for on-the-spot diagnosis, especially for high-risk patients. Ishrak indicated that GE was getting feedback from doctors about the benefits of access to complete, real-time information that allows them to make clinical decisions at the patient's bedside, and be confident in those decisions.

Dr. John Hobbins, chief of obstetrics and director of the Prenatal Diagnosis and Genetics Center at the University of Colorado Health Science Center, believes the Voluson i will positively impact the care he provides. Hobbins said the system makes it easy for him to "go to the patient to perform an ultrasound scan, rather than the reverse."

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