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GE Extends Strategic Relationship With Australian-based Nanosonics to Expand Healthcare Innovation Globally

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 8:18pm
The Associated Press

SYDNEY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun 24, 2012-- GE [NYSE: GE] today announced a $7.5 million investment in Australian-based Nanosonics Limited [ASX: NAN] - a leader in the development of innovative technology for infection control - to further develop and distribute Trophon EPR, an ultrasound transducer disinfecting system. The investment is being made through the GE healthymagination Fund, which makes investments in healthcare technology companies.

"Hospital acquired infections (HAIs) have increased by 36% in the last 20 years and are consuming more healthcare dollars each year," said Ron Weinberger, Managing Director of Nanosonics. "In the ultrasound market, sonographers see over ten patients a day, resulting in an increased need to disinfect the ultrasound transducer thoroughly between patients. Nanosonics has developed Trophon EPR, an innovative ultrasound disinfecting system, that we feel will significantly lower the risk of HAIs among patients." Realizing there was a significant need to address transducer disinfection, GE Healthcare worked with Australian-based Nanosonics in 2006 to support the validation of the Trophon EPR. After a few years of extensive research, development and testing, Trophon received FDA approval in 2011 and was sold to customers in the US, Canada and Europe. Currently, Trophon is installed at more than 800 customer sites globally.

"When patients get scanned, they deserve full assurance that the equipment being used is safe and clean. The Trophon technology achieves that - and revolutionizes infection control processes as we know it," said Dr Weinberger.

Specifically, the technology results in: -- Improved Turnaround Time: The system takes a total of 7 minutes to disinfect between patients. This is about half the time compared to traditional disinfection techniques, meaning more patients can get scanned in a day.

-- Convenience: Trophon can be placed in the same room as the ultrasound machine. Other methods require a separate disinfection room due to the powerful chemicals that are used.

-- Environmentally Friendly Solution: The system breaks down residual disinfectants into water and oxygen which is safer for the environment, patient and sonographer.

"Nanosonics has built an attractive business with an extraordinary product," said Michael Ackland, President and CEO of GE Healthcare Australia & New Zealand. "We believe the continued collaboration with Nanosonics will help serve our healthcare customers better, complementing GE's suite of ultrasound technologies, software and services. By expanding our sales footprint in Japan as well as in the existing locations such as the US, Canada and Europe, GE will help customers improve their overall quality in ultrasound processes.

"We're delighted to be investing in a great Australian company and to help bring this unique technology to the rest of the world," said Mr Ackland.

About GE GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company's website at www.ge.com. Follow GE on twitter @GEaustralia About GE Healthcare GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.

Our "healthymagination" vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employees are committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com About GE Capital GE Capital Australia and New Zealand is a specialist financial services provider and part of the global GE Capital business, which operates in 55 countries around the world. With 4,300 employees and over $16 billion in assets locally, GE Capital offers unique financial solutions such as fleet and equipment finance, personal loans, retailer solutions and credit cards, corporate finance, inventory finance and insurance services. For more information visit www.gecapital.com.au. Follow GE Capital on Twitter @GECapitalAus About Nanosonics Nanosonics Limited is developing a portfolio of decontamination products designed to reduce the spread of infection. The Company owns intellectual property relating to a unique disinfection and sterilisation technology which can be suited to a variety of markets.

For more information visit www.nanosonics.com.au Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements: This document contains "forward-looking statements" - that is, statements related to future, not past, events. In this context, forward-looking statements often address our expected future business and financial performance and financial condition, and often contain words such as "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "believe," "seek," "see," or "will." Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain. For us, particular uncertainties that could cause our actual results to be materially different than those expressed in our forward-looking statements include: current economic and financial conditions, including volatility in interest and exchange rates, commodity and equity prices and the value of financial assets; potential market disruptions or other impacts arising in the United States or Europe from developments in the European sovereign debt situation; the impact of conditions in the financial and credit markets on the availability and cost of General Electric Capital Corporation's (GECC) funding and on our ability to reduce GECC's asset levels as planned; the impact of conditions in the housing market and unemployment rates on the level of commercial and consumer credit defaults; changes in Japanese consumer behavior that may affect our estimates of liability for excess interest refund claims (Grey Zone); pending and threatened litigation against WMC, including increased activity by securitization trustees; our ability to maintain our current credit rating and the impact on our funding costs and competitive position if we do not do so; the adequacy of our cash flow and earnings and other conditions which may affect our ability to pay our quarterly dividend at the planned level; our plan to resume GECC dividends, which is subject to Federal Reserve review; the level of demand and financial performance of the major industries we serve, including, without limitation, air and rail transportation, energy generation, real estate and healthcare; the impact of regulation and regulatory, investigative and legal proceedings and legal compliance risks, including the impact of financial services regulation; strategic actions, including acquisitions, joint ventures and dispositions and our success in completing announced transactions and integrating acquired businesses; the impact of potential information technology or data security breaches; and numerous other matters of national, regional and global scale, including those of a political, economic, business and competitive nature. These uncertainties may cause our actual future results to be materially different than those expressed in our forward-looking statements. We do not undertake to update our forward-looking statements.

CONTACT: GE Healthcare, Australia & New Zealand Kym Robins, +61 2 9846 4807 Communications Leader kym.robins@ge.com or GE Healthcare Global Services Britta Barrett, +1-203-400-1892 Communications Director Britta.Barrett@ge.com or GE Corporate Megan Parker, +1-203-373-2020 Healthymagination Communications Director Megan.Parker@ge.com KEYWORD: AUSTRALIA UNITED KINGDOM EUROPE AUSTRALIA/OCEANIA NEW ZEALAND INDUSTRY KEYWORD: TECHNOLOGY DATA MANAGEMENT INTERNET NETWORKS PRACTICE MANAGEMENT HEALTH HOSPITALS INFECTIOUS DISEASES MEDICAL DEVICES GENERAL HEALTH SOURCE: GE Healthcare Copyright Business Wire 2012 PUB: 06/24/2012 08:18 PM/DISC: 06/24/2012 08:18 PM http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120624005043/

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