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GE buys and allies

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The consolidation bubble burst two years ago when the stock market began its long slide, but you wouldn't know it from observing GE Medical Systems. The giant vendor hatched plans to grow bigger with the proposed acquisition of two companies: Millbrook

The consolidation bubble burst two years ago when the stock market began its long slide, but you wouldn't know it from observing GE Medical Systems. The giant vendor hatched plans to grow bigger with the proposed acquisition of two companies: Millbrook of Carrollton, TX, a developer of information systems for physician offices, and USA Instruments, a manufacturer of MR coils. GE has now announced a $2 billion bid for Instrumentarium (see story this page).

The deal for Millbrook, expected to close before year's end, promises office automation solutions that will extend GE's existing portfolio related to the electronic medical record. In a brief ceremony at the RSNA meeting, GE unfurled a banner atop its booth welcoming USAI to its family of acquired companies. Prior to the deal, USAI had been a coil supplier to GE.

GE has also been striking new partnerships. Just prior to the RSNA meeting, the company entered into a strategic partnership with Deus Technologies to develop digital CAD for lung cancer for its digital radiography systems. Deus' RapidScreen RS-2000 is the only analog CAD system that has received FDA approval for early lung cancer detection. During the meeting, GE announced an alliance with CADx systems to integrate that company's Second Look CAD software into the GE Senographe 2000D full-field digital mammography system. Second Look, which the FDA cleared earlier this year, identifies suspicious areas on mammograms, highlighting subtle changes in tissue that suggest where cancer may be present.

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