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GE HealthCare Receives Boost in its Bid to Design AI-Assisted Tools
The company said it was awarded a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help develop technology for low-and-middle-income countries.
September 18, 2023
2 Min Read
Image Credit: Shutthiphong Chandaeng via iStock / Getty Images
GE HealthCare’s march toward artificial intelligence-based solutions has been a steady and consistent one. The trek picked up a huge head of steam this week as the Chicago, IL-based company said it received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for more than $44 million to create user-friendly, AI-assisted ultrasound imaging auto-assessment tools.
The company said the tools will be used to help healthcare professionals—even those without specialized training or experience with ultrasound—with clinical decision information to support more effective obstetric and lung screening ultrasound scans across maternal and fetal care as well as pediatric lung health, with a goal of expanding access to low-and-middle-income countries (LMIC) and across diverse sites of care.
The seeds were planted for this initiative when GE HealthCare acquired Caption Health, a specialist in AI, in February. Caption Health will design this technology to run across a range of ultrasound devices and probes, including lower-cost handheld devices.
“We are proud and excited to have received this grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to make ultrasound more accessible in low-and-middle income countries. Ultrasound is an essential tool for screening and diagnosis of various medical conditions, including the health of expectant mothers and managing respiratory diseases,” said Roland Rott, President and CEO, Ultrasound, GE HealthCare. “However, a key limitation is the guidance of lesser-skilled users to effectively apply affordable point-of-care ultrasound in their care environment. This grant will help bring Caption Health’s leading AI technology customized to more users, and therefore contribute to increased access to higher-quality medical care.”
About three years ago, Caption Health was also awarded a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help with the development of AI technology for lung ultrasound.
AI has been a huge topic of discussion for GE HealthCare. Jan Makela, president and CEO of imaging at GE Healthcare, spoke a bit about the company’s strategy for AI going forward, during a recent episode of Let’s Talk Medtech.
“So, [AI] is a huge topic for us and our customers, Makela said. “It's something that really always comes up first.”
See below for the full Makela’s full conversation with MD+DI.
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