Advancements in healthcare are creating a paradigm shift in how we manage and deliver care. With increasing precision and predictability, we can eliminate redundant tests, diagnose disease earlier and help doctors pinpoint treatments sooner. This will be enabled, in large part, by the continued evolution of medical imaging systems that help doctors diagnose and determine treatments for patients.
GE has been a pioneer in medical imaging since the early 1900s, when GE research pioneer William Coolidge invented the first safe x-ray tube. Dubbed the “Coolidge X-Ray Tube,” it paved the way for the use of x-ray in medical diagnosis.
More than a century after Coolidge’s invention, GE continues to be medical imaging pioneers. GE scientists are driving major advancements in several key imaging applications that are improving their accessibility and value to patients, including:
- Low Cryogen Magnet (LCM). Magnet innovation is vital to future improvements in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems. Conventional magnets are expensive, contain large amounts of liquid helium (5000L), are difficult to manufacture, and require complex installation to deal with the infrastructure required to support the large volumes of helium. GE Global Research, in partnership with Healthcare’s MR technology team, is developing technology that will greatly simplify and reduce the cost of manufacturing and installing these systems. This will help make these systems more accessible to parts of the world where they cannot be placed today and reach millions more patients who otherwise would not have access to this state-of-the-art medical diagnostics technology.
- CT—Smart Algorithms. Computed Tomography (CT) is one of the best diagnostic tools clinicians can use to see what’s happening inside the body. Today, the biggest challenges in CT are radiation dose and cardiac imaging. GE researchers are driving new technologies on both fronts. GE has developed a revolutionary method for reconstructing high-quality images from very low radiation CT scans. Veo* was introduced in 2011. Improvements to this technology are making it faster and more accessible.
- Ultrasound. GE scientists are pushing the boundaries of applications in ultrasound, developing state-of-the-art 3D ultrasound probe technology that can be inserted inside the body to capture images. This probe is enabling less invasive, catheter based heart procedures in place of open heart surgery.