How GE Healthcare is investing in medtech innovation

Monday, December 2, 2019

Source: MassDevice

GE Healthcare (NYSE:GE) appears to be taking the “throw it against the wall and see what sticks” approach when it comes to medtech innovation.

GE’s Chicago-based healthcare subsidiary today announced a medtech 3D printing partnership with Formlabs (Somerville, Mass.). GE Healthcare also disclosed its participation in the recent $243 million Series C round of robot-assisted surgery device maker CMR Surgical (Cambridge, U.K.), and the company is investing an undisclosed sum into Decisio Health (Houston) and its clinical surveillance software that provides real-time, consolidated view of patients from multiple systems across a health provider network.

The news comes about a week after GE Healthcare touted the launch of its Edison Developer Program for accelerating the adoption and impact of artificial intelligence applications and developer services across health systems.

“Healthcare’s next chapter will be written in part by emerging technologies like 3D printing, robotic surgery and virtual patient monitoring,” Kieran Murphy, president and CEO of GE Healthcare, said in a news release.

“That’s why we’re putting GE Healthcare’s innovative engine and resources behind collaborations with these exciting, next-generation companies — to help change the way clinicians work and enable more precise patient care,” Murphy said.

Formlabs is a fast-growing maker of relatively affordable stereolithography-based 3D printers. The partnership with GE Healthcare will enable radiologists to take 3D CT or MRI data from GE Healthcare’s Advantage Workstation and export the data using the AW 3D Suite so that it’s in a format ready for 3D printing on a Formlabs machine. The resulting printed models could aid surgeons planning for a procedure, enhance physician training and provide an extra tool for doctors seeking to ease the anxiety of people who need surgeries. ” This first step with Formlabs can help break down time and cost barriers to adoption of on-premises printing while empowering richer communication amongst care teams and their patients,” said R. Scott Rader, general manager of GE Healthcare Additive Solutions.

CMR Surgical is meanwhile seeking to commercialize its Versius robot-assisted system for minimally invasive surgery. “We see the Versius surgical robotic system becoming a key ‘guiding companion’ for surgeons alongside GE Healthcare’s advanced, high-quality imaging and AI capabilities,” said Gustavo Perez-Fernandez, president and CEO for GE Healthcare’s Image Guided Therapies business.

The Decisio Health collaboration involves combining GE Healthcare’s digital clinical platforms with Decisio’s visualization software. The result will enable clinical teams to merge latent and retrospective data (electronic medical record data, for example) and real-time patient data (blood pressure and lactic levels, for example) in order to improve their decision-making. “Interoperability is critical in modern health care,” said Bhatt. “The amount of data we see today is only a fraction of what will exist in five years, and only by managing data better and by using analytics can we gain more control of patient outcomes,” said Vivek Bhatt, CTO of GE Healthcare Clinical Care Solutions.

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