Pioneer in Private Cancer Care in Kingdom Picks GE Healthcare as Technology Partner
Today, two-thirds of health-care spending in Saudi Arabia is done by the government. But with a young and fast-growing population, and a big rise in non-communicable diseases and unhealthy lifestyles, even the massive investments committed by the government in recent years will benefit from the growing number of private sector providers.
One example is the National Blood & Cancer Center (NBCC), Saudi Arabia’s first private health-care facility licensed to prevent, screen, diagnose and treat cancer and blood diseases. The Riyadh-based center is developing a comprehensive outpatient facility that will bring several new offerings in hematology and oncology to the Saudi private sector, including a dedicated outpatient chemotherapy infusion unit and the Kingdom’s first “Same-Day Cancer Diagnosis” Clinic.
This pioneering cancer care center has selected GE Healthcare as its key imaging technology and advisory partner. As a result, its radiology department will house GE’s latest diagnostic imaging systems, including magnetic resonance, CT-scan, ultrasound and healthcare IT solutions.
The facility will feature —for the first time in the Kingdom — GE’s Automated Breast Ultrasound System (ABUS)*, which is intended for use as an adjunct tool with mammography, and GE Healthcare’s first-ever integrated, simultaneous PET/MR system. Called SIGNA PET/MR, the system will be the first implementation of the system outside the United States.
Powered by simultaneous image acquisition from both MRI and PET technology, the SIGNA PET/MR helps clinicians achieve improved scan efficiency that may lead to more effective treatment paths.
GE Healthcare’s Clinical Department Solutions will help NBCC optimize the patient experience as they move through the clinic, while addressing local requirements and ensuring efficient patient throughput. GE Healthcare also will provide technical and leadership training.
As well, NBCC will be a reference site for GE Healthcare in the region, giving the facility access to new and emerging GE technologies and solutions, advisory support and collaboration in the development for technologies and solutions.
Beyond the outpatient clinic, NBCC aims to establish an internationally recognized hematology and oncology network of excellence that will include a 150-bed oncology hospital, supported by a number of regional ‘satellite’ cancer centers throughout the Kingdom.
For decades, GE has supported its local partners in Saudi Arabia to improve health care; address the burden of illness, including cancer; and promote improved citizen health through a range of public service programs — including supporting a multiyear breast cancer screening program. Among other activities, GE Healthcare has enabled the deployment of more than 20,000 GE Healthcare technologies across the Kingdom’s hospitals and is working with the King Fahad Medical City in Riyadh to set up a comprehensive Health-Care Skills Training Institute.
In September 2011, GE launched an ambitious global campaign against cancer, committing $1 billion of its total R&D budget over the next five years to expand its advanced cancer diagnostic and molecular imaging capabilities, as well as its world-class technologies for the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals and for cancer research.
*FDA approved. Registration pending/waiting for approval from Saudi FDA