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GE Healthcare is a unit of GE Technology Infrastructure, which is a unit of General Electric (GE). It employs more than 46,000 people worldwide and is headquartered in Little Chalfontmarker, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdommarker. The CEO of GE Healthcare is John Dineen. GE Healthcare is the first GE business segment headquartered outside the United States. In 2004, just before the completion of the $9 billion acquisition of U.K.-based Amersham plc, the formerly named GE Medical Systems was renamed GE Healthcare.


GE Healthcare has a range of products and services that include medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies.

From a brief period from the close of the Amersham acquisition in April 2004 - June 2005, GE Healthcare was organized into two primary business segments: GE Healthcare Technologies, led by Joseph Hogan, and GE Healthcare Bio-Sciences, the former Amersham business segments that were led by Peter Löscher. Those business segment names and organizations were formally dropped in June 2005.

Business units

GE Healthcare currently has 6 primary business units:

  • GE Healthcare Global Diagnostic Imaging, headquartered in Waukeshamarker (near Milwaukeemarker), Wisconsinmarker, USA. The Diagnostic Imaging business includes X-ray, digital mammography, Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance (MR) and Molecular Imaging technologies.

  • GE Healthcare Clinical Systems, headquartered in Wauwatosamarker (suburb of Milwaukeemarker), Wisconsinmarker, USA. This business provides a range of healthcare technologies and services for clinicians and healthcare administrators. It includes ultrasound, ECG, bone densitometry, patient monitoring, incubators and infant warmers, respiratory care and anesthesia management. In collaboration with GE Healthcare, The Wayne State University School of Medicine offers an integrated radiology curriculum during its MD Program led by investigators of the Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Microgravity study. GE has donated over one million dollars of Logiq E Ultrasound equipment for this study.

  • GE Healthcare Medical Diagnostics, headquartered in Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire, UKA. Medical Diagnostics researches, manufactures and markets imaging agents used during medical scanning procedures to highlight organs, tissue and functions inside the human body.

  • GE Healthcare Life Sciences, headquartered in Uppsalamarker, Swedenmarker. This division produces technology for drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing and cellular technologies. It also makes systems and equipment for the purification of biopharmaceuticals.

  • GE Healthcare Surgery, headquartered in Salt Lake Citymarker, Utahmarker, USA. This provides tools and technologies for cardiac, surgical and interventional care, from cardiac catheterization labs, diagnostic monitoring systems, data management systems to mobile fluoroscopic imaging systems, navigation and 3D visualization instrumentation.

While it has offices around the globe, GE Healthcare has major regional operations in Buc (suburb of Parismarker), Francemarker; Budaors(suburb of Budapestmarker), Hungarymarker;Hino & Tokyomarker, Japanmarker; Helsinkimarker, Finlandmarker; and Bangaloremarker, Indiamarker.


In 1893 C.F. Samms and J.B. Wantz were making dental engines and beer pumps, and by October 1895 had a staff of 6 in a 30 square meter basement and a capital of $3,000 invested in Victor Electric Co.

Victor Electric plunged into the x-ray business and by 1896 (one year after Roentgen’s discovery) were making x-ray machines. The business grew rapidly and so, in 1896, moved into new premises three times the original size, but this did not solve the space problems and the company made 3 moves by 1899.

Victor Electric had competitors. In 1896 a G.A.Frye began making x-ray tubes and in 1897, that business was purchased by Swett & Lewis, and the first merger in the x-ray business had started.

During the first years, it was easier to keep up with the competition than space requirements. By 1903, Victor Electric had outgrown its facilities at 418 Dearborn St. in Chicagomarker and bought two floors of a building at 55 Market Street, Chicagomarker. This was again only a temporary stop; by 1910 it was too small and the firm moved again in 1911 to a building at the corner of Jackson Blvd. and Damon Avenue. This was the first permanent home of Victor Electric Co. They stayed there 35 years and during this time, gradually acquired all the space in the building and several around it.

During the first 20 years of the x-ray business, many new names appeared. In 1901 the Western Electric Coil Co. was formed. In 1902 MacAlaster & Wiggin purchased the x-ray tube business of Swett & Lewis. Two other companies were the Radio Electric Co., which was later to be known as Snook-Roentgen Manufacturing and the Scheidel Western X-Ray Coil Co.

In 1916, the first significant merger took place, Scheidel Western, Snook-Roentgen, MacAlaster & Wiggin, and Victor Electric Co. were merged with Victor, the surviving name. Victor’s two founders had key roles in the new firm; C.F.Samms was president and J.B.Wantz was Vice-President of manufacturing and engineering.

Four years later, in 1920, a second major merger was accomplished as Victor was partially acquired by General Electric which was, at that time, the foremost manufacturer of x-ray tubes.

The marriage of Victor Electric and General Electric became complete of July 28th, 1926 when Victor was declared a wholly owned affiliate of General Electric. The merger brought renewed vitality to the organization and Victor entered the foreign market with equipment sold and serviced in nearly 70 countries. In 1930, the name was changed from Victor to General Electric X-Ray Corporation.

World war II saw the dramatic use of x-rays in industry for non-destructive testing of war materials. It also saw the broad use of x-rays as a medical tool for military services.

As the war ended, GE X-Ray Corporation’s growth did not; it soon became evident that more space was needed and it was time to leave Jackson Blvd. Chicago. In Milwaukeemarker was a 43 acre site which had been used for building turbochargers during the war. The street in front was renamed Electric Avenue, and the General Electric X-Ray Corporation had a new home in 1947.

In 1951, the corporate structure was dissolved and the name changed to General Electric x-Ray Department. This new name lasted less than 10 years as the department divested itself of its industrial x-ray business, widened its medical business, and took on the name of GE Medical Systems Department. One of the reasons for the name of Medical Systems was due to the increase in the electro-medical business, which began in 1961 with the introduction of patient monitoring equipment. By 1967 modular equipment was developed which was soon popular in cardiac and intensive care units. Early in 1960, pacemakers were developed in Corporate Research & Development in Schenectadymarker, and in 1969 the Standby Pacemaker was developed.

In 1968, the Biomedical Business Section opened its first factory in Egerton Avenue. Late in 1970 a surgical package was introduced and in 1971, equipment to monitor blood gasses during surgery was introduced.

Later in 1971, Biomedical opened a 9,000 square meter admin and engineering building opposite its factory and in 1972, the section was renamed The cardio-Surgical Product Section. With the growth of its medical business, the General Electric Company upgraded the department to The Medical Systems Division in 1971. Also in 1971, a major expansion programme was started and the Waukesha factory was planned. Work started in July 1972, ansd was completed in 1973.

In 1973, work on CT was started and eventually the first CT was installed in 1976, and development went on to the first CT 8800, and after long negotiations, the medical division of EMI was acquired in late 1980.The Americal Anti-Trust Authorities stopped the takeover in the USA however, and the EMI factory in Chicago was bought up by Omni-Medical, who continued to make CTs for a number of years.

Meanwhile, back at GE, the patient Monitoring Dept. was sold off in 1981. The initial boost provided by the EMI takeover turned into the doldrums as Reaganomics sent the US dollar soaring, so in 1984 GE bought a 49% share of YMS (Yokogawa Medical Systems) a Japanese company.

YMS proceeded to produce high quality low cost diagnostic equipment for the world market with astounding energy, producing new CT models with a speed that was and is hard to match.

In 1983 GE Medical started investing heavily in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MR) technology, investing nearly 1 billion US dollars in a new plant in Waukeshamarker, and the MR Signa was born, which would go on to become the very successful MR model range. The magnet plant in Florence (USA) was opened a short time later, giving GE its own magnet production.

In 1985 GE acquired Technicare from Johnson and Johnson.Originally named Ohio Nuclear, and in 1979, after another fusion, Ohio Nuclear Unirad, the name was changed to Technicare in 1982. Technicare (with headquarters in Cleveland Ohio) had been producing a range of rotate-stationary CTs with an installed base in the thousands, as well as some x-ray diagnostic equipment and a nascent MR product range.

Up to this time the medical Systems Division had simply been divided into domestic and international, but in 1987 it was decided to re-organize into the three “poles” of America, Europe and Pacific. In 1988 GE Medical Europe merged with CGR (a medical equipment supplier based in France) to form General Electric CGR Medical Systems. The European headquarters were moved from Hammersmithmarker (UK) to Buc near Paris.

In 1992, GE had a setback after long negotiations to buy Picker International, who were a major producer of CT and MR equipment, The deal was not approved by the American authorities, and so GE just bought the Picker Service organization in the U.K., leaving the rest of Picker intact.

In 1994 it was decided to change the name in Europe from GE-CGR back to General Electric Medical Systems.At the close of 1998 GE Medical acquired the Nuclear and MR businesses of Elscint, (based in Haifa, Israel), the CT business being bought by Picker, and in the same year Marquette Medical Systems became a wholly owned subsidiary of GE Medical.In 1998 GE medical bought Diasonics Vingmed Ltd. from Elbit Imaging (Haifa Israel), thus expanding its ultrasound imaging business.

In 2003, GE Healthcare acquired Instrumentarium (including its Datex-Ohmeda division), a producer, manufacturer, and supplier of anesthesia machines and mechanical ventilators. To satisfy regulatory concerns in the United States and in Europe, GE Healthcare was forced to divest the Spacelabs Medical division of Instrumentarium. Currently, GE Healthcare owns 80% of all anesthesia machines in the United States and 60% of the machines in the world. The former Instrumentarium business was incorporated into GE Healthcare's Clinical Systems business segment.

In 2004, the former Amersham plc business segments were separated into the GE Healthcare Medical Diagnostics and Life Sciences business segments.

Also in 2004, GE Healthcare along with other healthcare companies built a research reactor for neutron and unit cell research at GE's European Research Center near Garchingmarker (outside of Munichmarker), Germanymarker. It is the only such reactor currently in operation.

In 2005, Sir William Castell, CEO of GE Healthcare and former CEO of Amersham plc stepped down as CEO to become Chairman of the Wellcome Trust -- a charity that fosters and promotes human and animal research -- in the United Kingdom. Former GE Medical Systems CEO Joe Hogan became the overall CEO for the GE Healthcare business.

In 2005, Dental Imaging operations were separated from GE Healthcare. The PaloDEx Group Oy was founded and continues the business with its subsidiaries Instrumentarium Dental and SOREDEX. Specifically, Instrumentarium Dental continues the brands Orthopantomograph and intraoral systems FOCUS and SIGMA, formerly known as Instrumentarium Imaging or GE Healthcare products.

In September 2005, GE Healthcare and IDX Systems Corporation announced that they entered into a definitive, $1.2 billion merger agreement for GE to acquire IDX, a leading healthcare information technology (IT) provider. The acquisition was completed in January 2006. IDX was folded into GE Healthcare Integrated IT Solutions, which specializes in clinical information systems and healthcare revenue management.

On 4 February 2008, GE Healthcare announced that it has completed the acquisition of Whatman plc (LSE:WHM) , a global supplier of filtration products and technologies at 270p per share in cash for each Whatman share, valuing Whatman at approximately £363 million (approximately $713 million.)

In July 2008, Joseph Hogan announced his intent to leave his post as CEO of GE Healthcare to take the role of CEO at ABB.

On July 17, 2008, GE Healthcare announced John Dineen had been chosen to replace outgoing CEO Joseph Hogan. Mr. Dineen had been head of GE's Transportation division since 2005.



Some major competitors of GE Healthcare are Siemens Medical Solutions, Agfa, Philips, MAQUET and Toshiba.

External links


  1. GE to reorganize operations; Louisville unit not included - Business First of Louisville:
  2. [1] A Pilot Study of Comprehensive Ultrasound Education at the Wayne State University School of Medicine
  4. GE Healthcare, Vishal Wanchoo, Bio
  7. The PaloDEx Group’s history
  8. Instrumentarium News and Events
  9. The ABB Group: ABB appoints Joseph Hogan as new CEO

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