GE Healthcare’s newly unveiled SenoCase ultra-portable mammography device aims to combine mobility and affordability to provide breast cancer screening in underserved areas, especially in emerging markets.
The SenoCase system is one of the first products unveiled as part of GE’s renewed focus on breast cancer as part of a $1 billion investment into oncology research over the next five years.
Portability is key to GE’s strategy to bring health care screening to emerging markets, including the Middle East, India, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brazil, and some rural areas of the U.S., according to a GE report, but it’s not the most important factor.
Making the devices smaller helps cuts costs for materials, GE’s X-ray division general manager Anne LeGrand told MassDevice today. In its initiative to broaden access, GE plans on cutting costs for equipment by two-thirds.
"Miniaturization is very important, but the key driver is to get the costs down, because access is often constricted because of costs or price," LeGrand told us. "By having components that are less expensive and smaller, you get two for the price of one."
At just over three feet tall, the SenoCase system is a one-person device that can "be easily transported in the back of a car," allowing a health care provider to take breast cancer screening on the road.
"It’s a one-person device, and that’s really critical because when you think of ultra-portable it shouldn’t take two or three people to carry this thing around," LeGrand told us.
Once mobility is conquered, the next big step will be in streamlining the image processing and diagnostic workflow, according to GE Healthcare’s mammography division general manager David Caumartin. China’s rising breast cancer rates coupled with its vast population and over-stretched health care providers are just one example of the need to provide more efficient image processing options.
The goal is to provide women across the globe with access to digital mammography to detect cancers early. Two-thirds of women in the world don’t get regular screenings, according to GE.
"Beyond awareness of the cost and quality factors, mammography screening is indeed saving lives," Caumartin told MassDevice. "New inventions and technology are able to reduce costs and get a faster diagnoses and answers for every woman around the world.”