GE today announced a $7.5 million investment in Australian-based Nanosonics Limited, 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 percent in the last 20 years and are consuming more healthcare dollars each year,” says Ron Weinberger, managing director of Nanosonics. “In the ultrasound market, sonographers see over 10 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,” says 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,” says Michael Ackland, president and CEO of GE Healthcare Australia and 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 U.S., Canada and Europe, GE will help customers improve their overall quality in ultrasound processes.”