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GE Healthcare unveils Productivity Elevated release of cardiac ultrasound system

by John W. Mitchell , Senior Correspondent
It is with the belief that the future of diagnostics and therapy guidance is in highly sophisticated software algorithms that GE Healthcare unveiled its new Productivity Elevated release on the Vivid E95/E90 and S70N/S60N 4-D and 2-D cSound ultrasound platforms.

"This approach is unique to GE," Al Lojewski, general manager for Cardiovascular Ultrasound, GE Healthcare, told HCB News. "Other companies continue to concentrate on the development of traditional [interrelated] beamform hardware and software applications."

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Lojewski noted that Productivity Elevated - which has just been released for demonstration in the U.S and Europe - is a major upgrade of its cSound diagnostic suite. cSound is designed to enhance productivity and efficiency for cardiologists and technologists - ultimately resulting in better care for patients.

"It improves the overall understanding of what's going on, with better definition of the heart tissue and border definition," explained Lojewski. "It can make it easier and speed up the amount of time the sonographer needs to acquire the images and it can reduce the amount of time for the physician to make a diagnosis."

Lojewski cited the work of Dr. Bijoy Khandheria, a cardiologist at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Using the new Productivity Elevated release, the cSound suite was able to find a rare genetic disease [non-compaction] in a patient who had been diagnosed with normal heart function for the prior three years. The doctor said that by catching the condition early, they altered the treatment plan and were able to offer earlier intervention and monitoring for the patient.

"The system's visualization, quantification, and guidance also assists with treatment as well," said Lojewski. "This helps the physician with procedures such as mitral valve, mitraclip, and mitral valve cusp repairs."

In addition to providing more image sensitivity, Khandheria said that with the release of Productivity Elevated they are able to save three to five minutes per exam. This improves productivity in the hospital cardiac lab, which sees up to 100 patients a day. Also, he said he was especially excited about the new Blood Speckle Imaging feature to visualize blood cell trajectories.

GE said that cSound's computation speed allows it to process an amount of data that is equivalent to playing an entire DVD in just one second - all in real time.

"With new software algorithms, we continue to come out with useful enhancements for physicians," said Lojewski.

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