30 Aug GE Healthcare announces new, high-tech 'stethoscope'
GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Company, announced Monday it has developed a wireless, miniaturized cardiovascular ultrasound that is expected to increase efficiency for physicians.
The new “visual stethoscope,” Vivid i, is designed to perform the duties of larger-scale systems but in a portable and wireless design that weighs 30 times less. The system makes it possible for patients to receive diagnostic exams anywhere, including bedside, as opposed being transported to an imaging lab in a hospital. Additionally, urgent care areas, operating rooms, critical care and outpatient clinics can utilize the ultrasound’s portability.
Vivid i also features wireless capabilities, allowing physicians to transfer files instantly from the system to other physicians for consultation.
According to Joe Hogan, president and chief executive officer of GE Healthcare Technologies, the increasing miniaturization of ultrasound technology allows physicians to treat patients in the most effective, least invasive manner possible.
“Vivid i addresses one of the biggest challenges physicians face in caring for their patients—access to complete, real-time information,” Hogan said. “As GE Healthcare continues to improve on the portability and convenience of ultrasound technology, I believe it will become the visual stethoscope of the future.”
GE’s engineers developed Vivid i by miniaturizing the components of a premium echocardiography system weighing more than 400 pounds, to provide a portable system weighing only 10 pounds.
Professor George Sutherland, Department of Cardiology, St. George’s Hospital in London, England said, “Echocardiography is about to undergo a major change. With its ease of movement and diagnostic image quality, this portable ultrasound system makes it easier for the doctor to go to the patient to perform an ultrasound scan, rather than the reverse. In intensive care and cardiac exam rooms this is a marked advantage.”
The system will be commercially available in fall 2004.
GE Healthcare develops medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, disease research and biopharmaceuticals. GE Medical Systems’ world headquarters is located in Waukesha and Milwaukee is home to GE Medical Systems’ Global Components business. GE Healthcare is a unit of General Electric Company that is headquartered in the United Kingdom.