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GE announces first installation of Discovery VCT

Waukesha, Wis. - An imaging technology that holds the hope for volume imaging and rapid, less invasive cardiac care will get its first commercial test at a prominent Boston hospital.

GE Healthcare, which holds 25 patents related to hybrid imaging technology, has announced the first installation of the company's new Discovery VCT at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

According to GE, the technology is able to capture images of the heart and coronary arteries in fewer than five heartbeats, and therefore has the potential to transform the way physicians diagnose and treat heart disease and other life-threatening illnesses.

The Discovery VCT is a 64-slice combination of systems that feature high-speed, high-resolution and metabolic and physiologic capabilities. With this combined system, GE said physicians could more accurately diagnose heart disease, cancer, and neurological disorders.

GE likened the new diagnostic capabilities to that of a gardener that can visually assess areas of a lawn that are not getting sufficient water supply, and look for blockages in the irrigation system. With this new technology, physicians can assess areas of the heart that are not getting sufficient blood supply, and look for stenosis (narrowing or constriction) in the coronary arteries.
In a single rotation, the system creates 64 credit-card-thin images, which are combined to form a three-dimensional view of the patient's anatomy. Dr. Marcelo Di Carli, co-director of cardiovascular imaging at Brigham and Women's Hospital, said the combined system provides access to essential functional and anatomical patient data in one setting.

The information made available, he said, enables him to quickly and accurately diagnose cardiac patients and eliminate unnecessary invasive diagnostic procedures, while "guiding more appropriate treatment decisions."

Laptop ultrasound
The sale of the first Discovery VCT comes on the heels of Food and Drug Administration approval for a compact ultrasound system that GE says will allow real-time imaging during emergency care, where diagnostic speed and accuracy are critical. The LOGIQ e, the latest in a series of compact ultrasound systems, addresses a lack of ultrasound equipment available to emergency physicians who need valuable diagnostic information in cases of trauma, abdominal aortic aneurysm, and heart conditions.

The product was unveiled during the annual meeting of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine in San Francisco. "Within seconds, LOGIQ e can be used to scan an emergency patient and produce high quality clinical images that provide vital insight to the patient's condition," said Omar Ishrak, president and CEO of GE Healthcare's clinical systems division.

Ishrak said the company's technology development strategy invites top physicians to the drawing board to "re-imagine ultrasound" and address pressing healthcare issues. Among these issues is the need to improve access to quality care in rural communities and developing regions of the world, where "early health" models are being adopted to detect diseases at the point where they can effectively be treated.

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