Corporate Updates

GE Healthcare to supply MRI technology at the Olympic Games

GE Healthcare a division of General Electric, announced its role as the sole supplier of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Installed at the Olympic Village General Hospital, two of GE Healthcare’s advanced MRI technologies, the Signa HDe 1.5T will be accessible to be used on all international competing athletes during the Games.

These technologies within close proximity of all the sporting competitions will enable clinicians to diagnose potential injuries earlier or simply monitor treatment with a view to maximize the time of play for an athlete – in other words, ensure a quick return to play. Every day an athlete spends in rehab is a day lost in training, which is why diagnosing injuries earlier or monitoring the recovery in real time is crucial for elite performance.

Sports medicine is an advanced discipline focused on assisting athletes in achieving their optimum performances while ensuring their physical and psychological integrity. This requires sports physicians to equip themselves with the best available technologies in the field of medical imaging allowing them to have an earlier and more accurate diagnosis platform.

MRI has become an indispensable tool for diagnosing sports injuries. And with the development of new MR systems and techniques over the past five to ten years, GE Healthcare’s MR technologies have become a valuable tool for diagnosing sports related injuries showcased already at the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games, alongside some other medical imaging devices offering a complete medical solution for athletes.

“At GE Healthcare we are very pleased to be the sole supplier of MRI equipment for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Using GE Healthcare technology and expertise, clinicians can detect and diagnose injury and disease earlier and ensure better patient care. All athletes run a risk of injury and our experience in sports medicine as well as our customer feedback tells us how important it has become for athletes to have advanced MR technology such as the Signa HDe 1.5T on-site during training and competition at the Olympic Village General Hospital” commented Chih Chen, President of GE Healthcare China.

MR imaging as a non-invasive technique proves to be an optimal means of acquiring high-contrast images of both the bone structures and the soft tissue structures, which together create a complex joint such as the knee or shoulder. These body parts are of high risk for athletes as musculoskeletal injuries can occur any time. This leads to the need to have leading imaging technologies such as MRI close to the game of play available to sports physicians to more accurately monitor an athlete’s condition enabling more tailored training and recovery protocols to be devised.

In addition, GE Healthcare’s Signa HDe 1.5T will help clinicians at the Olympic Village General Hospital not only benefit from high-definition images, but also decreased operation costs (water, electricity, liquid helium,) by up to 40 percent.


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