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GE Healthcare collaborates with USP Hospitales in Spain, and Federico II, University of Naples in Italy, to evaluate latest ultrasound innovation

November 5, 2009

- USP Hospitales, Spain, and Federico II, University of Naples, Italy, selected among the first European institutions to run multi-centre clinical impact evaluations as part of a global initiative

- GE’s Vscan, pocket-sized visualization tool may help change healthcare practice by enhancing doctors’ ability to conduct immediate non-invasive patient check-ups

- Vscan could become as indispensable as the stethoscope

BRUSSELS Nov. 5, 2009 – GE Healthcare, the US$ 17 billion healthcare business of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) announced it has entered into agreements with USP Hospitales, Spain and Federico II, University of Naples, Italy to launch the first European clinical impact evaluations using Vscan, GE’s new pocket-sized visualization tool that houses ultrasound technology. Vscan has the potential to help redefine the physical exam and improve patient care by enhancing the doctor’s ability to quickly assess patients.

Over the next few months, over twenty medical professionals in Italy and Spain will participate in the multi-centre clinical impact evaluations to study the device and assess its potential impact on patient care and help develop specific medical protocols for its use in a number of clinical settings;

- For General Practitioners, Vscan has the potential to help redefine the physical check up by providing an immediate look inside the body and visualizing what doctors feel and hear

- For Intensive Care, Vscan offers doctors an immediate look beyond patient vital signs with the potential to identify critical issues, like fluid around the heart, which could be a sign of congestive heart failure

- For Cardiologists, Vscan provides at a glance a dependable visual evaluation of how well the heart is pumping, so they can treat patients more efficiently 

GE’s goal is to improve the quality of care by increasing access to important healthcare innovations. Vscan is a non-invasive visualization tool that can help doctors perform more focused physical examinations and provide additional information with immediate assessment, which may help enhance patient care, potentially reduce wait times and improve physician workflow.

“Embedded as part of our healthymagination initiative, Vscan is an innovative technology that we hope will redefine patient check-ups and point-of-care decision making.  At GE Healthcare we are proud to have long standing collaborations with key European institutions such as USP Hospitales and the University of Naples, as it is only together that we become better positioned for transforming healthcare delivery,” said Reinaldo Garcia, President and CEO of GE Healthcare, Europe Middle East and Africa.

Multi-centre clinical impact evaluations will take place across 5 sites in Italy (Naples, Milan, Siena and Lecco), and in Spain starting in Barcelona, with a view to broaden its use in other sites belonging to USP Hospitales’ network across Spain.

“We are very excited to be evaluating this innovative technology across Italy as this tool could broaden access to more patients but also, help reduce the cost of unnecessary examinations, thereby addressing some of the healthcare burden issues we face in Italy today,” said Dr Maurizio Galderisi, Responsible for Echocardiography Laboratory, Cardioangiology with CCU, at the Department of Internal Medicine, Federico II, Naples, Italy. “It could make point-of-care imaging a practical reality,” concluded Galderisi.

“It is great to see Spain at the forefront of innovative medical research, and USP has been doing this with GE Healthcare since 2005, the beginning of our collaboration focusing on achieving innovative healthcare solutions leveraging world-class technology, such as services and management techniques,” said Gabriel Masfurroll, Founder, Chairman & CEO, USP Hospitales, Spain. “Today, Vscan is used at USP Dexeus but this innovation will become part of a multi-centre study as it gets rolled out to other targeted USP sites. We are truly excited to be using this innovative pocket sized visualization tool and see if it becomes as indispensable as the stethoscope.” concluded Masfurroll.

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About Federico II
Federico II is one of the most ancient universities in Italy and one of the most important University Hospital in Southern Italy. Around 5,000 employees covering every medical and surgery specialties.

It has a top-level rank of publications in basic and bed-side topic issues. The University Hospital is closely linked to leading American and European Universities.

About USP Hospitales
USP Hospitales (www.usphospitales.com) is the leading network of private hospitals in Spain: nearly 6,000 professionals assist over two million patients a year in all 36 health clinics distributed throughout the larger provincial capitals of Spain, and with presence in Portugal, Morocco and Angola.

Since the creation of USP Hospitales in 1998, it has been configured as a private, integrated and global network of medical assistance services that include hospitals, outpatient surgery clinics, diagnostics clinics and polyclinics. Consolidated as a leader in the market of providing health care services, offering an alternative of high quality, high technology and rigorous professional ethics.

USP DEXEUS UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE
USP DEXEUS UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE (http://www.dexeus.es/) is a comprehensive healthcare centre in Barcelona, Spain, that offers top-quality medical assistance in all specialties. It is the flagship hospital of USP Hospitales and it has gained a high prestige trough its numerous achievements in the past thirty years.

About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.

Our “healthymagination” vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality and efficiency around the world.

Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $17 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 46,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com.

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