GE, St. Joe’s announce landmark agreement

March 21, 2006

By hammersmith

GE Healthcare has signed a six-year research agreement with St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. The partnership is expected to advance personalized healthcare by accelerating joint research efforts, which will help move research discoveries more quickly into the clinical setting.

GE will work directly with researchers and doctors to improve its equipment. As part of the agreement, St. Joseph’s will provide principle investigators, support personnel, and research facilities. GE will provide two product development engineers housed at St. Joseph’s, annual funding, and a portion of all royalties.

Linda Hunt, the president of St. Joseph’s, said that GE will contribute $2.5 million in new funding to support the hospital as it aims to align itself with Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap.

According to Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap, imaging is one of Arizona’s key strengths—one of a group of core competencies upon which the state can build its bioscience industry. The Roadmap is a ten-year plan for Arizona to achieve national bioscience stature and a diversified economy, and is derived from a study conducted by Battelle and commissioned by the Flinn Foundation.

The GE-St. Joseph’s research alliance will focus on a number of groundbreaking technologies, including the continuation of new magnetic resonance (MR) applications, such as those developed by Dr. James Pipe of Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s.

Dr. Pipe, a bioengineer, helped develop a new method of imaging that allows technologists to obtain clearer MR scans with less sensitivity to patient motion. This helps doctors accurately image children, Parkinson’s patients, and others who cannot lie still for long periods of time.

The technology, called PROPELLER, has been incorporated into all of GE Healthcare’s Signa High Definition MR scanners.

GE Healthcare is based in the United Kingdom. It is a $15 million unit of General Electric Company Worldwide and employs more than 43,000 people in more than 100 countries.

Michael Wood, general manager of research and collaboration for GE’s global magnetic-resonance business, told the Arizona Republic that the company has arrangements with 500 medical facilities but its relationship with Pipe has been one of the most productive.

For more information:

St. Joseph’s partners with GE on medical research,” Business Journal, 03/08/2006

St. Joe’s, GE to improve MRI quality,” Arizona Republic, 03/08/2006

St. Joseph’s Press Release