GE Healthcare unveils Discovery IQ, first ever PET/CT designed in India for tackling cancer early

  • Discovery IQ PET/CT completes a quarter century of GE's disruptive innovation from India to the World
  • Discovery IQ PET/CT is 40% more affordable than currently available PET/CTs
  • Result of $ 15 Million Investment and collaboration with Indian healthcare providers

BANGALORE--March 24, 2014 -- As part of its ongoing commitment of working towards a Healthier India and accelerating solutions to tackle cancer early, GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE),today unveiled Discovery IQ, an advanced Positron Emission Tomography/ Computed Tomography (PET/CT) molecular imaging system designed in India for the world. The new Discovery IQ is the result of $15 Million (INR 90 Crores) investment, and 3 years of close collaborative development with Indian nuclear medicine physicians and oncologists. The new GE Discovery IQ PET/CT comes with advanced early disease detection capabilities as well as measurements to understand patient's response to cancer treatment. Discovery IQ is another feather in the cap for GE Healthcare's India innovation capabilities.

Discovery IQ_India for the world

"Three years back, we promised to develop an advanced yet affordable PET/CT to improve access to early cancer detection. We are extremely proud that we have realized that commitment today with the launch of Discovery IQ - an advanced PET/CT that is 40% more affordable and can usher in personalized treatment for the patient. We are extremely thankful to the Indian healthcare providers for their close collaboration and insights into their needs that helped develop this important weapon against cancer", said Terri Bresenham, President& CEO of GE Healthcare South Asia.

"Molecular imaging is the epitome of healthcare imaging technologies. GE is very pleased to demonstrate to the world India's capabilities in developing the most sophisticated medical technologies." she added.

A state of the art imaging centre requires an imaging system -- PET/CT to scan the human body and a cyclotron to produce bio-markers that can light up cancer cells. However, setting up of a molecular imaging centre is very expensive and calls for an investment as high as $ 5 Mn (INR 30 Crores). The huge investment has prevented proliferation of this early detection technology in India. With the support of several Indian entrepreneurs over the past few years, GE has built a robust network of cyclotrons to halve the investment required to set up a molecular imaging centre. Designing an affordable technology solution in India - GE's Discovery IQ, is another bold step GE has taken to help improve affordability and accessibility to this critical tool that can enable early detection and treatment of cancer. Moreover, GE's new Discovery IQ is scalable to fit the needs of the many Indian healthcare providers and is built on a platform that is upgradable on site to meet the increasing demands of a hospital, making it a secure and affordable long term investment to provide continuous, superior care over the years.

The value of PET/CT for diagnostic imaging in oncology is well established with its capabilities to combine anatomic and functional aspects of the body to provide a complete picture of patient's health. But now, even brighter possibilities are coming to light, with new quantitative tools that enable more consistent PET measurements.

Did you know approximately 70% of cancer patients don't respond to their initial chemotherapy treatment? Accurately determining whether or not a patient is responding is critical, as enduring treatment is one of the toughest challenges that both patients and clinicians ever face. When using CT alone, up to 6 cycles of chemotherapy may be required to determine if the treatment is effective for that patient. PET/CT can help quickly determine treatment effectiveness, because metabolic changes in a tumor occur earlier than structural changes, PET/CT can help physicians determine how well a treatment is working after as few as 1 to 2 cycles of chemotherapy. Thus PET/CT plays critical role in treatment monitoring and can reduce overall cost to patient.

"We know that cancer patients don't always respond to their initial course of treatment," said R Sureshkumar, General Manager, PET/CT Product Development, GE Healthcare. "If we can give clinicians a more accurate and reliable solution to determine early whether the treatment is working or not, they will be able to tailor a regimen of therapies according to individual patient response and needs."

One of the key innovations that comes with GE's Discovery IQ is Q.Clear^ technology that can provide up to two times improvement in PET quantitative accuracy (SUVmean) and up to two times improvement in image quality (signal-to-noise ratio). The reconstruction technology shows the advantage of full convergence PET imaging without any compromise between quantitation and image quality.

"With affordable Discovery IQ PET/CT from GE Healthcare, PET/CT can become an integral part of cancer care management for every cancer centres in India. Clinicians will now have ready access to tools that will allow evidence based and cost effective treatment. Together with our customers, we are focused on improving access, quality and affordable cancer care for the patient", said N R Balamurugan, Director, Oncology, GE Healthcare South Asia.

GE Healthcare is at work for a healthier India and is focusing on some of the toughest healthcare challenges India faces today -- lowering maternal and infant deaths; enable early detection of cancer for early treatment, addressing heart disease early etc. GE Healthcare pioneered innovation of healthcare imaging technologies in India for India and the world to enhance access to quality healthcare at affordable costs to more people. Till date GE Healthcare has rolled out 24 such solutions and with Discovery IQ PET/CT we celebrate a quarter century of innovations from our India R&D Centre.

Media Contacts:

Manoj V Menon, Communications Leader,
GE Healthcare, Email: manoj.menon@ge.com ;
T: +91 9845199852 : Twitter: @GEHealthIndia

Parvathy Jaya/ Garima Ghosh
Genesis Burson Marsteller
9620073706/8095945625
parvathy.jaya@bm.com/ garima.ghosh@bm.com

Annexure:

About Cancer in India

The Cancer burden in developing countries is reaching pandemic proportions. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in India, with a prevalence of over 3 million Cancer patients, 1.23 Million new cases added every year . Every minute India is losing 1.5 people to cancer. 71% of deaths are between the age group of 30-69 years. The numbers could be much higher as many cases go un-detected or un-reported. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has urged Government of India to make Cancer a notifiable disease with projection of 5 fold increase by 2025. The rate of survival from cancer has been shown to increase drastically if detected early -- in Stage I or Stage II. As per a GE commissioned study, 70-80% of cancer patients are diagnosed late which renders any form of treatment less effective. Additionally more than 60% of patients affected with cancer do not have access to quality cancer treatment.

Out of 400 cancer centres in India, 40% are not adequately equipped with advanced cancer care equipment like Linear Accelerators. 70% of them do not have molecular imaging technologies like PET/CT and rely on low end computed tomography technologies to measure effectiveness of treatment. However, low end CTs are not designed to effectively detect or monitor treatment of cancer. This study further suggests India will need at least 650 additional cancer care centres to adequately meet patient requirements by 2020. India today has about 120 PET/CTs operational in the country where as the required number of units would be an estimated 1300 units.

In 2011, India lost 4.3 Million healthy years of life due to cancer and it is projected to grow to 4.9 million by 2016 as per a research published in Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention.

GE Healthcare has committed US $1 Billion towards accelerating research and development of advanced oncology solutions. GE Healthcare offers a wide portfolio for oncology and a strategy that combines cellular research, medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, and information technology. These innovative technologies help the oncology community increase their understanding of the causes and progression of cancer and help physicians make more personalized cancer treatment and management decisions.

Source: Globocan 2008, Globacan 2012, ICMR, GE Studies

About GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world. GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter - great people and technologies taking on tough challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance improvement solutions, GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients.

GE Healthcare is at work for a healthier India. We are focusing on some of the toughest healthcare challenges of India -- lowering maternal and infant deaths; enable early detection of cancer for early treatment, addressing heart disease the burden etc. We design, develop and manufacture technologies in India for India and the world that will enhance access to quality healthcare at affordable costs to more people. For our latest news, please visit http://newsroom.gehealthcare.com.

GE's Presence in India

Present in India since 1902, GE works to innovate, partner and develop technology solutions in energy, healthcare, infrastructure and financial services that improve the quality of life in the country. With about 13,000 employees, GE's imagination is taking the nation to the future with ideas designed and developed in India - for India and for the rest of the world.

With around 5300 engineers, GE's research centers in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai are developing new technologies for both India and the world while the 13 local manufacturing and service facilities bring products, services and technologies closer to the customers. GE in India has partnered with a number of Indian companies to develop localized solutions, meeting the needs of the country. Committed to social development across the world, GE in India is closely engaged with local communities on social and environmental issues. Follow the conversation on @GEIndia

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