TTBD Industry Spotlight: GE Healthcare and OHSU

John L. Flannery, president and CEO of GE Healthcare
John L. Flannery, president and CEO of GE Healthcare

OHSU continues to collaborate with industry giants, pushing the boundaries of medicine and health care forward. In 2013, OHSU partnered with Intel to create computer architectures for sequencing cancer genomes and personalizing cancer care. In 2015, OHSU joined with Apple, Inc. to create a technology that detects the warning signs of melanoma through photographs taken with an iPhone. This year, OHSU and GE Healthcare are finalizing collaborations on numerous health care projects, including cardiovascular research, imaging, and big data.

One particular project that attracted GE Healthcare to OHSU was the development of a new technology to improve heart attack detection. Invented by Sanjiv Kaul, M.D., director of the OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute, the Myocardial Contrast Echocardiography (MCE) technology has been used on over 5 million patients around the world and has since attracted many prospective industry partners to OHSU. For example, GE Healthcare has expressed interest in collaborative studies including, but not limited to, the investigation of ultrasounds as a health care tool in rural and underserved communities as well as the testing of magnetic resonance pulse sequences to enhance neurovascular studies. Inspired by the MCE technology, GE Healthcare’s pursuit of partnership with OHSU is just one example of how innovative discoveries continue to bring industry partners to OHSU’s doorstep.

During his keynote address at the 2016 OHSU Startup Symposium on March 31, John L. Flannery, president and CEO of GE Healthcare, stressed the importance of partnerships between industry and academic institutions.

“We are very impressed by and excited about the history of this institution. There really is a deep history here of science and health care innovations,” said Flannery. “We see a lot of things that we can do with OHSU in life science, in molecular imaging, in cardiology, in data and analytics. We would like very much to be a partner in the future of the business.”

Executives from both OHSU and GE Healthcare have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on health care projects, with plans to finalize the terms of this agreement by July 2016. This memorandum will include a collaboration agreement for OHSU’s commercialization efforts and will give GE Healthcare the opportunity to provide mentorship and support to OHSU through the MedTech Alliance, Biomedical Innovation Program, and Startup Symposium.

“We hope to spin out more startup companies and create even more excitement among our faculty to find innovative solutions to address a number of medical challenges,” said Abhijit Banerjee, Ph.D., OHSU’s director of business development.

As OHSU continues to create ties with industry partners, an environment of open shared knowledge and expertise grows. This enables an accelerated rate of innovation in medical technology and overall improvements in patient care. The partnership between OHSU and GE Healthcare demonstrates collaborative effort toward a common goal: Improving health care for the global community.