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Diagnostic imaging

VIHA signs $11 million agreement with GE

VICTORIA – The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) and GE Healthcare (GE) have signed an eight-year, $11 million agreement that allows VIHA to purchase 48 new ultrasound systems and collaborate with GE to research and develop new healthcare technologies, Health Minister George Abbott announced earlier this month.

“This partnership between VIHA and GE will improve diagnostic services to island patients at eleven facilities from Victoria to Port Hardy, while giving our healthcare professionals the opportunity to be part of the development of leading-edge technology,” said Abbott. “It’s a prime example of how healthcare providers and technology companies can work together to advance patient care.”

“We are very excited about working with GE because it will expand patients’ access to the most advanced diagnostic ultrasound equipment, no matter where they live on Vancouver Island,” said VIHA Board Chair Jac Kreut. “This investment in technology will bring real-time, 4D imaging and meaningful clinical benefits to our patients including more precise diagnosis and faster exams, while reducing the inconveniences associated with repeat exams.”

The Vancouver Island Health Authority selected GE, one of the world’s leading ultrasound providers, as its supplier following competitive clinical and technical evaluations with the four major ultrasound vendors in the spring of 2006.

According to GE, ultrasound technology has changed significantly in the past five years. “Advances in 4D imaging are enabling physicians to detect issues earlier and more accurately than ever before, while a new generation of compact designs are bringing point-of-care imaging services right to the patient,” stated Terri Bresenham, vice president of Diagnostic Ultrasound, GE Healthcare. “This combination of new ultrasound technologies will enable VIHA physicians to address one of their biggest challenges – access to real-time diagnostic information.”

Under the terms of the agreement, VIHA will receive GE’s most advanced ultrasound technologies and establish new clinical workflow and administrative processes enabling an overall cost savings of approximately $4 million over the life of the contract. VIHA will apply the savings to expand its diagnostic and medical services.

Ultrasound is a sophisticated, non-invasive imaging tool that uses sound waves to produce detailed images of patients’ internal organs. Physicians rely on ultrasound to help detect and diagnose a wide range of medical conditions including cardiovascular disease, cancer, trauma and perinatal care.

About VIHA
The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) provides healthcare services to approximately 716,000 people on Vancouver Island, on the islands of the Georgia Strait and in the mainland communities north of Powell River and south of Rivers Inlet. With an annual budget of $1.3 billion, VIHA operates hospitals, clinics, centres, health units and residential facilities in accordance with policies set by the British Columbia Ministry of Health.

About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare’s broad range of products and services enable healthcare providers to better diagnose and treat cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases and other conditions earlier. Our vision for the future is to enable a new “early health” model of care focused on earlier diagnosis, pre-symptomatic disease detection and disease prevention. 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