Toronto, May 31, 2011 – MaRS Discovery District is pleased to welcome GE Healthcare as they open the doors to the first global Pathology Innovation Centre of Excellence (PICOE) today. In this new research and development centre, GE will collaborate with its digital pathology joint venture, Omnyx™, along with funding partner, HTX (Health Technology Exchange), and numerous clinical partners to create best practices and technologies to address current pathology challenges.

“We are absolutely delighted to welcome GE Healthcare to the MaRS Centre,” said Dr. Ilse Treurnicht, CEO of MaRS Discovery District. “GE is a global innovation leader and their arrival at MaRS affirms their commitment to Ontario and to furthering collaboration with the outstanding science, tech and social innovators in our ecosystem. ”

There is a shortage of pathologists in Canada.  Today, there is a need for an additional 370 pathologists and by 2020, the country will need an additional 820 pathologists. This new centre has the potential to revolutionize pathology through digital innovation.  Part of the Centre’s focus will be to develop products and processes that increase patient access to skilled pathologists and empower pathologists with tools for more efficient, consistent and accurate examination.

“The opening of this Centre of Excellence is great news for Ontario,” said Glen Murray, Minister of Research and Innovation. “Digital pathology will help reduce costs and give Ontarians faster and more accurate diagnoses, regardless of their location.”  PICOE builds on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) GE signed with the Ontario government in September 2009 to partner and invest long-term within the province.

“PICOE will create 15 new highly skilled jobs over the next three years and give pathologists and clinical partners the resources to accelerate research and development and testing for new digital pathology solutions,” said Peter Robertson, Vice President & General Manager of GE Healthcare Canada.

GE was attracted to Canada because of the expertise and leadership in digital pathology adoption in centres like Toronto, as well as the innovative and collaborative culture. MaRS, a leading innovation centre, serves as an ideal hub for PICOE given its close proximity to hospitals, highly skilled pathologists, clinical partners and academia.

The new 2,150-square foot centre includes a digital lab where GE will conduct training, research and development on the Omnyx™ IDP (Integrated Digital Pathology) platform with clinical collaborators.  The lab will house Omnyx’s Pathologist and Histology Workstations, as well as showcase Omnyx’s VL series of high-resolution scanners, which will digitize glass slides.

ABOUT GE:
GE (NYSE: GE) is an advanced technology, services and finance company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. Dedicated to innovation in energy, health, transportation and infrastructure, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.ge.com.  In Canada, GE has operations across the country, including major manufacturing, sales and service locations with 8,000 employees. Follow GE Canada on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/GE_Canada and YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/GECanada

ABOUT GE HEALTHCARE:
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employees are committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com.  For our latest news, please visit http://newsroom.gehealthcare.com

About MaRS
MaRS Discovery District (www.marsdd.com) is a large scale, mission driven innovation centre located in Toronto and networked across Ontario, focused on building Canada’s next generation of technology companies.  MaRS works closely with entrepreneurs to grow and scale their ventures into global market leaders in life sciences and health care, information, communications and entertainment technologies, cleantech, advanced materials and engineering, as well as innovative social purpose businesses.

For more information contact:
Vanessa Caldwell, MaRS Communications
vcaldwell@marsdd.com
416.673.8200 x2240