According to the agreement, GE will have exclusive worldwide distribution rights to R2's CAD technology as applied to full-field digital mammography for one year following its commercial availability. The CAD technology is in clinical trials, and the combination of the two devices will require Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. R2 will continue to market its film screen CAD system as it has since the introduction of that product.
In 1998, R2 introduced the ImageChecker system, the only CAD system available for breast imaging today. The system is already used in more than one million mammograms. "GE Medical is excited about teaming up with R2 Technology", stated Michelle Heying, General Manager of Global Mammography at GE Medical Systems. "R2 Technology has a history of developing highly advanced software for the medical community, and providing innovative technology to help promote women's health care."
"GE Medical Systems shares our commitment to bring revolutionary technological advancements to the mammography community", added Michael S. Klein, President and CEO of R2 Technology. R2 is the recognised leader in the development as well as commercialisation of Computer Aided Detection (CAD), an innovative technology which assists radiologists in the early detection of breast cancer and other cancer-related lesions.
R2's CAD software has been integrated with the ImageChecker processing and visual display system, and is being successfully sold to hospitals and imaging centres as an aid to radiologists for more accurate detection of breast cancer. To date, more than 150 ImageChecker systems have been installed on a worldwide basis. As a medical software company, R2 is developing CAD systems for a variety of image modalities and disease states including lung cancer and cardiovascular disease.
More information on GE Medical's digital mammography technology can be found in this issue's article FDA approval for digital mammography allows "soft copy" reading of patient images.