GE Acquires Provider of AI-Powered Image Guidance for Ultrasound
GE HealthCare has signed an agreement to acquire Caption Health, Inc., a privately owned artiﬁcial intelligence (AI) healthcare leader that creates clinical applications to aid in early disease detection, using AI to assist in conducting ultrasound scans. With Caption AI applications, ultrasound examinations can be easier and faster, enabling a broader set of healthcare professionals to conduct basic echocardiogram exams. This technology can help detect signs of diseases like heart failure in at-risk patients across doctors’ oﬃces, the home, and alternate sites of care, potentially preventing hospitalizations and supporting improved clinical outcomes.
GE HealthCare Ultrasound President and CEO Roland Rott said, “Guiding ultrasound users during examinations with the help of AI is of growing importance, especially as we reach a broader set of healthcare professionals. Caption Health’s AI applications help enable reliable, consistent ultrasound examinations to deliver more precise diagnoses, improved treatment decision-making, and ultimately improved patient outcomes. This tuck-in acquisition will help expand aﬀordable access to ultrasound imaging to novice users and is aligned with a broader shift to precision care globally.”
Caption Health CEO Steve Cashman said, “We are incredibly proud of the technology we have built and together with GE HealthCare, look forward to bringing this technology to more patients across the globe. Combining our AI applications with GE HealthCare’s ultrasound devices will help accelerate our mission to detect disease earlier, when an easily obtained diagnostic image can be a great equalizer to health quality and outcomes. This will ultimately help us reduce costs and enhance care.”
Heart ultrasound examinations are the primary tool used to help identify heart failure, the most common diagnosis in the US for hospitalized patients over the age of 65, per Emory Healthcare 2022 Heart Failure Statistics. It contributes to millions of deaths globally every year, but early symptoms like fatigue or shortness of breath are commonly confused for normal signs of aging. Sandhu et al showed that 38% of new heart failure patients are diagnosed in acute care facilities, even though 46% of these patients had potential symptoms six months before diagnosis, when intervention would have had a greater impact in slowing disease progression. Doctors call heart failure "the silent killer" because it is so easy to ignore symptoms until it is too late. It has remained a leading cause of death nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control, with cases on the rise following the COVID pandemic.
Karley Yoder, Chief Digital Oﬃcer, Ultrasound at GE HealthCare, who will integrate Caption Health into the broader digital ecosystem of GE HealthCare, said, “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with the Caption Health team to increase access and accelerate growth of ultrasound. Caption Health will ﬁrst be integrated in the Point of Care and Handheld business portfolio to advance ultrasound adoption, with expanded future use cases as well.”
As part of this acquisition, Caption Health will continue to provide management and administrative services to aﬃliated medical services providers (collectively referred to as “Caption Care”). By providing trained technicians across the country equipped with the Caption Health AI technology to perform cardiac ultrasounds in alternate sites of care and, in the future, in the comfort of patient’s homes, Caption Care service is intended to support early diagnosis and detection before diseases like heart failure become more diﬃcult to treat.