Medical Device Industry Commit to Reducing Energy Use of Ultrasound Products

PARIS & WAUKESHA, Wis. GE Healthcare announced today a commitment to reduce the average energy consumption of new ultrasound products by 25 percent by 2012*. With support from the European Union (EU) Commission, GE Healthcare and a group of ten other medical device manufacturers within the European Coordination Committee of the Radiological, Electromedical and Healthcare IT industry (COCIR), have proactively committed to a self-regulatory initiative for the energy efficient design of medical imaging equipment.

“GE Healthcare welcomes the support of the European Union Commission for this initiative,” said Mike Harsh, vice president and chief technology officer of GE Healthcare. “This announcement paves the way for GE Healthcare, our customers, and the environment to benefit from improvements in energy efficiency. We see this as a terrific opportunity to demonstrate the innovation of the company’s technology development and furthermore improve the access to and the quality of healthcare products all over the world.”

The Energy Related Products (ErP) directive establishes a framework for setting resource efficiency standards by product platform and increasing focus on the life cycle of the product. For products identified to be in scope, rigorous enforcement measurements will also be put in place by the government to ensure that stringent requirements are met and environmental improvements are achieved before a product is commercialized.

“COCIR and the member companies fully support the ErP Directive to proactively reduce and optimize energy consumption and is seen as the leader in the field of environment and at the forefront of green initiatives with intelligent EcoDesign solutions,” said Nicole Denjoy, COCIR Secretary General.

This decision coincides with the 5-year anniversary of GE’s ecomagination initiative to imagine and build innovative technologies that help customers address their environmental and financial needs, such as the need for cleaner, more efficient sources of energy. Over the past five years, GE has added over 80 products to its ecomagination portfolio including Digital X-ray, High efficiency magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology, lower cost, high quality computed tomography (CT) and advanced ultrasound products.

“We’re excited to work together with COCIR to make a difference in medical devices. The new generation of medical devices can help save impressive power consumption throughout the industry,” said Reinaldo Garcia, President and CEO of GE Healthcare for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). “To give you a quick snapshot, suppose that in just one of our ultrasound product lines, 700 Voluson™ E8s were brought into service in the EU in a given year. Due to decreased scan time and lower power consumption, the annual electricity savings compared to its previous version would total more than 400,000 kWh/year, which is enough to power over 90 EU houses for one year. Now that’s just one model, imagine if we multiple this effect across every model in the industry — the overall impact would be very significant.”

Ultrasound will be the first product area implementing the regulation. Additional modalities will implement self-regulation each year.

*Based on 2005 performance