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Diagnostic imaging

GE marks 10th anniversary of digital mammography

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – In addition to being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this October is the tenth anniversary of digital mammography, a technology introduced by GE Healthcare in 1999. Similar to digital photography, digital mammography replaces the film used in traditional mammography with digital files viewed and stored on computers.

To commemorate the anniversary and long standing commitment to fighting breast cancer, GE Healthcare has created a digital wall of personal stories from those whose lives have been touched by breast cancer, as well as doctors, scientists and fundraisers who work tirelessly against the disease. Visit the wall at

Around 30 patients, survivors, fundraisers and medical professionals from around the world are the foundation of the first phase of the GE Healthcare’s wall. The company hopes that the wall will grow rapidly and become a global platform for survivors, innovators and charities to share their stories, provide additional information on technology milestones and successes and empower others impacted by breast cancer.

“Our initiative shows that breast cancer is indiscriminate. It affects women, and also men, irrespective of their age, nationality and religion. We want people to get involved and share their story. Today, they can do that by clicking the “share” icon on the wall and share their experience, knowledge and hope with others,” said Wendy Harris, Strategic Marketing Leader, Women’s Health at GE Healthcare.

“I hope to see it grow rapidly in size to become a definitive hub for empowering stories; how survivors have fought and overcome the disease, as well as profiling the doctors, and scientists who are working tirelessly – often behind the scenes,” continued Harris.

Starting in Canada, the site visitor will meet Sylvia Soo and her personal story battling breast cancer at a young age. A fly over to Asia will take them to Andra Pradesh in India, where Dr. Raghu Ram, after a successful career in the UK, returned with the mission to improve the delivery of breast cancer at home. Back in Europe, the visitor will tour Belgium where a “Mammobiel” is providing breast scans in rural areas.

These are just some of the “journeys” that the site visitor can make, meeting those who are fighting breast cancer and creating awareness today.

Pioneering the development of advanced breast-imaging technologies, GE Healthcare has been a leader in the field of breast cancer detection through mammography devices since the 1960s. In 1999, GE Healthcare was the first company to introduce full-field digital mammography (FFDM).

Canada has been a big part of this story – the third and fourth GE digital mammo units were installed in Toronto at the Princess Margaret Hospital and at Mount Sinai Hospital.

The company has spent 13 years and more than $100 million developing the full-field digital mammography technology, GE Healthcare Senographe systems, and continues to invest heavily in new cutting-edge technologies to detect the pathology before the onset.

Today there are approximately 3,800 GE Healthcare Senographe digital systems in use worldwide – more than any other brand. In August this year, healthcare technology research organization KLAS ranked GE Healthcares Senographe DS as the top digital mammography system on the market today, based on a survey of healthcare providers.

Through its own research as well as partnerships with other industry innovators, GE Healthcare is continuing to bring to market advanced technologies that will help improve detection and reduce unnecessary biopsies in the future, including a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system specifically designed for breast imaging; the fusion of FFDM and ultrasound; and tomosynthesis -currently under clinical investigation- which generates three-dimensional images.

About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems. Our “healthymagination” vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality and efficiency around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $17 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 46,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at

Posted October 8, 2009