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Joe Shrawder sees change ahead for GE's C-Arm business

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | September 20, 2010
The new head of GE's C-Arm business has two ambitious goals - doubling the percentage of sales in emerging markets and scaling up refurbished offerings.

"Today, roughly 15 percent of our business may be in developing or emerging markets," Joe Shrawder, president and CEO of surgery with GE Healthcare, told DOTmed News. "And in the next three to four years I aim for that to reach 25 to 30 percent."

In July, Shrawder replaced Pete McCabe as the head of GE's OEC division, a $500 million global business that creates surgical C-Arms and navigational products. Previously, Shrawder was general manager for GE Healthcare’s System Services. He has been with GE Healthcare since 2001, and the parent company for almost 25 years.

To take up the reins of the surgery division, Shrawder and his family left Milwaukee, Wisc., where GE health's business is headquartered, and moved to Salt Lake City, "the land of the sun and mountains," he said.

His predecessor now runs, from France, the European service business for GE Healthcare.

Shrawder said among his new goals is to drive globalization in what previously has been a more U.S.-focused business.

"We haven't in the past had a full portfolio, particularly of value products," he said.

As an example of the new offerings, the Brivo OEC 850, which launched before Shrawder took over, was made in China. Unlike the flagship product, the OEC 9900, the Brivo is focused on orthopedic surgery and pain management and lacks broader capabilities for vascular and cardiac applications, he said.

"So this one is a less expensive product, particularly targeted for orthopedic type applications and to make a more affordable C-Arm in regions of the world that need that value product," he said.

Currently, the Brivo is selling in China, but GE also has plans to introduce it into Japan, South Korea and parts of Southeast Asia, with possibly some countries in Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe to follow.

Shrawder comes out of the refurbishing and remanufacturing business, and he also expects OEC to be more active in that area.

"We've really had a minimal refurbishing business to speak of, to compare to the diagnostic imaging world," he said. "We see that as another opportunity to serve our customers, who have a need for value and still want performance."

Shrawder said the refurbishing business would scale up continuously, adding capacities and growing with customer demand.

"We'll respond to customers' needs," he said.