GE Healthcare's Volume CT Scanner Fastest Volumetric Imaging in the World; LightSpeed VCT with 0.35 Second Rotation Speed and 40 mm Coverage is a Breakthrough in Cardiac Imaging

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 29, 2004--GE Healthcare announced today that its next-generation volume computed tomography (CT) scanner, the LightSpeed VCT, has set the record for fastest volumetric imaging in the world. The LightSpeed VCT with its 0.35 second rotation and 40 millimeter coverage allows for true volumetric scanning of the heart in only five beats. This breakthrough technology is being showcased at the Radiological Society of North America's 90th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting this week in Chicago, Illinois.

According to W. Dennis Foley, M.D., chief of Digital Imaging at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee and professor of radiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, the LightSpeed VCT's new 0.35 second rotational speed produces excellent resolution and coverage of the heart simultaneously.

"It is somewhat amazing that an accurate 3-dimensional image of the coronary arteries and sites of focal disease can be obtained from a beating heart," said Dr. Foley. "The LightSpeed VCT system does this using rapid high resolution imaging gated to the patient's heart cycle."

The first LightSpeed VCT in the world was installed at Froedtert Hospital in June 2004 to provide insight into the best clinical practices for advanced CT systems, including information to help with the diagnosis of disease and injury. LightSpeed VCT is the only proven 64-channel detector in the world, and can cover the anatomy with the fastest speed while simultaneously providing the best resolution.

LightSpeed VCT is considered a GE "Imagination Breakthrough" product -- a major new invention with significant clinical and productivity value for clinicians and patients. LightSpeed VCT leverages GE's research and development investment in the areas CT scanning in a new, patented design.

Speed and Resolution -- Simultaneously

"This is game changing technology that will make the LightSpeed VCT the quintessential emergency room scanner," said Peter Arduini, general manager of Functional Imaging and Computed Tomography at GE Healthcare. "This product represents what GE's commitment to offering the highest quality products which deliver the highest quality outcomes and clinical productivity."

Due to its record-breaking coverage speed, the LightSpeed VCT has the capability to attain 43 millisecond temporal resolution, which means doctors can effectively freeze the motion of the heart, which may lead to a more accurate diagnosis and treatment of heart disease and other life-threatening illnesses.

In a single rotation, the system creates 64 submillimeter images, totaling 40 millimeter of anatomical coverage, which are combined to form a three-dimensional view of the patient's anatomy for the physician to analyze.

LightSpeed VCT is able to noninvasively capture the heart in five beats, scan the whole body in 10 seconds -- something no other CT system can offer. Because of these distinct capabilities, GE Healthcare and its clinical partners around the world have collaborated to identify advanced procedure possibilities.

5-Beat Cardiac(TM)

Heart motion has historically made CT cardiovascular scans challenging and prone to motion artifacts. Due to its speed, the LightSpeed VCT is enabling physicians to secure extremely high-quality images of coronary arteries at submillimeter resolution in only five beats of the heart. This enables a fast and less invasive diagnostic evaluation of arterial stenosis.

Triple RuleOut(TM)

Patients exhibiting acute chest pain in the emergency room will be able to be diagnostically scanned quickly and noninvasively, using the LightSpeed VCT, for evidence of heart attack, pulmonary embolism or aortic dissection, the three most life-threatening causes of chest pain, all in one single scan. A doctor's ability to identify the cause of acute chest pain and potentially eliminate unnecessary hospital stays and potentially missed diagnoses is invaluable.

Stroke Work-Up

Once a stroke occurs, it is commonly believed that treatment must be delivered within an hour or less to ensure the best outcome for the patient. Current diagnostic imaging procedures are complex. LightSpeed VCT offers the speed and resolution required for rapid examination of blood vessels in the brain (perfusion studies), enabling doctors to make a quick diagnosis of stroke and determine the extent of damage, and can help make this complex procedure easier and more routine.

"We're breaking barriers in speed and accuracy," said Arduini. "LightSpeed VCT's increased coverage speed will enable physicians and patients to benefit from a whole new level of imaging capabilities."

LightSpeed VCT and PET

In addition to its capabilities as a stand-alone technology, GE designed the LightSpeed VCT to easily integrate with its positron emission tomography (PET) technology. This fusion will marry the high-speed, high-resolution capabilities of GE's volumetric CT with the metabolic and physiologic capabilities of its industry leading PET.

"GE is unique in that we design, develop, and manufacture both the PET and CT portions of the PET/CT scanner. As a result, GE's CT and Functional Imaging teams are organized to provide even more innovation and value to our customers," said Arduini. "Developing the world's only volumetric, 64-slice PET/CT is a logical extension of our success with the LightSpeed VCT."

About GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies that will shape a new age of patient care. GE Healthcare's expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, disease research, drug discovery and biopharmaceuticals is dedicated to detecting disease earlier and tailoring treatment for individual patients. GE Healthcare offers a broad range of services to improve productivity in healthcare and enable healthcare providers to better diagnose, treat and manage patients with conditions such as cancer, Alzheimer's and cardiovascular diseases.

GE Healthcare is a $14 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) that is headquartered in the United Kingdom. Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 42,500 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our Web site at http://www.gehealthcare.com/.

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Shannon Troughton,