GE Healthcare Study Quantifies Economic Impact of Madison Operation

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developed in Madison, too. GE Healthcare spends more than $1 billion on R&D annually, Sandy said. He declined to say how much his division spends on R&D each year, but he said the Madison staff—which includes 150 engineers—is working hard to come up with new products and features.

“We continue to innovate [at GE], and this facility is part of that,” Sandy said.

Recent products developed at the Madison facility include ecoFLOW, released last year, Sandy said. The software can be integrated with GE’s Avance CS2 anesthesia delivery machine. It provides a digital display for better tracking of oxygen flow and the amount of anesthetic agent consumed in real-time, helping clinicians more efficiently dispatch the anesthesia—which can save hospitals money, Sandy said.

The future of innovation in anesthesia and respiratory devices, like so many other sectors, will be driven by software, Sandy said.

Anesthesia technology has gone from a completely pneumatic system—operated by pressured gas—to fully electronic-controlled devices, Sandy said, like GE Healthcare’s Aisys CS2.

That shift requires hiring more software engineers, who make up 20 of GE’s group of 150 Madison engineers, spokesman Ben Fox said.

GE Healthcare innovation will also be driven by the needs of emerging markets like Africa and India, where the business intends to deliver lower-cost products that still feature sophisticated technology, Sandy said.

“This is the challenge we’re embarking on,” Sandy said.

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