GE Healthcare has introduced Discover IQ, an advanced positron emission tomography/ computed tomography (PET/CT) molecular imaging system designed in India for worldwide use.
Developed at a cost of $15m, the new Discover IQ is the result of three years of close collaborations with Indian nuclear medicine physicians and oncologists.
GE Healthcare South Asia president and CEO Terri Bresenham said three years back, the company agreed to develop an advanced and cost-effective PET/CT to improve access to early cancer detection.
"We are extremely proud that we have realised that commitment today with the launch of Discovery IQ, an advanced PET/CT that is 40% more affordable and can usher in personalised treatment for the patient," Bresenham said.
"We are extremely thankful to Indian healthcare providers for their close collaboration and insights into their needs that helped develop this important weapon against cancer."
An advanced imaging centre requires a PET/CT to scan the human body and a cyclotron to produce bio-markers that can light up cancer cells.
Setting up a molecular imaging centre is expensive and requires as high as $5m, which has prevented development of such early detection technology in India.
However, with the support of several Indian entrepreneurs, GE has built a robust network of cyclotrons to minimise the investment required to set-up a molecular imaging centre.
The new Discovery IQ is built on a platform that is upgradable on-site to meet the increasing demands of a hospital, making it a secure and affordable long-term investment to provide continuous care.
Around 70% of cancer patients do not respond to their initial chemotherapy treatment. Now a PET/CT system can help physicians determine if the treatment is beneficial with one or two chemotherapy cycles and reduces costs for patients.
GE Healthcare PET/CT product development general manager R Sureshkumar said the company knows that cancer patients do not always respond to their initial course of treatment.
"If we can give clinicians a more accurate and reliable solution to determine early whether the treatment is working or not, they will be able to tailor a regimen of therapies according to individual patient response and needs," Kumar said.
GE's Discovery IQ incorporates Q.Clear technology that provides up to two times improvement in PET quantitative accuracy (SUVmean) and image quality (signal-to-noise ratio).
The reconstruction technology also shows the advantage of full convergence PET imaging without any compromise between quantitation and image quality, the company said.
GE Healthcare South Asia director, oncology N R Balamurugan said: "With affordable Discovery IQ PET/CT from GE Healthcare, PET/CT can become an integral part of cancer care management for cancer centres in India."
According to GlobalData estimates, the PET systems market in Indian market was valued at $22.2m in 2012 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.9% to reach $40.3m by 2019.
Image: Discovery IQ PET/CT is 40% more affordable than currently available PET/CTs. Photo: courtesy of GE Healthcare.