GE, MIT Collaborate on Smart Ultrasound Technology Development

Part of a new collaboration with MIT to develop next generation medical electronics systems that move health care to the point-of-care

Press Release

GE's Vscan

More intelligent ultrasound probe could simplify ultrasound use and enable new clinical applications

NISKAYUNA, N.Y., May 24, 2011 – Supporting its quest through healthymagination to reach more patients with better health care globally, GE has joined with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to create a Medical Electronic Device Realization Center (MEDRC) at MIT. The MEDRC will help drive revolutionary improvements in medical imaging systems and devices that take medical diagnosis, treatments and monitoring to the next level. Please visit to learn more about the Center.

As a first project, GE researchers from the Ultrasound Lab at GE Global Research will work with MIT researchers to develop a more intelligent ultrasound probe and system. The team from MIT will be led by Professor Brian W. Anthony and include graduate students Matthew Gilbertson, and Shih-Yu Sun. This project will drive innovation by intelligently controlling the pressure at the probe/patient interface. This will be done in combination with analysis of the images being formed.

Taking advantage of new advances in medical electronics and computing power, GE is working to simplify ultrasound measurements, improve the quality and add to diagnostic capabilities of ultrasound imaging. The project’s key goals are to enable a wider range of health care providers to perform scans and to establish new clinical applications such as measuring whether a mass in the body is cancerous or not.

“A major focus of GE’s healthymagination vision for the future is in innovating to reduce healthcare costs, increase access and improve quality around the world. In line with this vision is our interest in bringing ultrasound technology to more patients in areas where healthcare access may be inadequate,” said Dr. Kai Thomenius, Chief Technologist at the Diagnostics & Biomedical Technologies Domain of GE Global Research. “We want to enable the next generation of ultrasound systems to have the intelligence to aid in the diagnosis of common medical issues, so that we can reach more patients in need of this imaging technology. In view of the dramatic reduction in size and cost of GE’s scanners, this is particularly appropriate.”

Dr. Thomenius added, “We’re excited to collaborate with MIT scientists through the MEDRC on GE’s smart ultrasound project. This collaboration between GE and MEDRC will help accelerate the development of new medical devices and technologies in several areas that will re-define patient care.”

“As a world leader in health care technology, GE will be a tremendous asset to the MEDRC,” said Charles Sodini, LeBel Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT and co-founder of MEDRC. “Scientists and engineers from GE understand what it takes to turn promising developments into revolutionary new health care products. It’s what they do, and our team of scientists from MIT is excited to collaborate with them as we work to shape a new age in patient care.”

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