GE Healthcare recently launched its new GE Healthcare Rehovot engineering and laboratories department. The company's site in Rehovot is already a global center for GE in research, development, and exports of digital nuclear medicine systems, and development of GE's PET/CT systems - positron imaging of cell activity, which is more advanced and expensive than other imaging technologies - will now also be moved there.
Nuclear medicine is an imaging method in which radioactive material is injected into the patient, after which external devices track the presence of the material and its dispersal in the patient's tissue in order to create a 3D imaging that shows the functioning of the tissue, not just its form.
GE Healthcare decided to expand the center after getting a NIS 50 million grant from the Israeli government via the Israel Innovation Authority, with help from the Invest in Israel organization. The grant, which amounts to 40% of the project's budget, will be used to expand GE Healthcare's activity in Tirat Hacarmel and Rehovot.
"A standard in cancer detection"
Responsible for the expansion of this activity is Noam Zilbershtain, who was promoted in July 2019 from general manager of the GE Healthcare's detectors unit in Rehovot to global manager of the company's detectors group. In his new position, Zilbershtain is responsible for developing new nuclear medicine, x-ray, and CT technologies and products in five global sites.
Zilbershtain told "Globes" about the detectors department's growth. "A decade ago, GE acquired Orbotech Medical Solutions, which developed nuclear medicine detectors. The business grew gradually, and in 2018, we developed a brand-new detectors production department and increased the volume of production fourfold, following increased demand for the project. Together with the PET activity, we are now one of GE's most advanced and fastest growing sites, because PET is gradually becoming a standard in cancer detection. A month ago, we inaugurated the renewed department, including extremely advanced laboratories and new development personnel. We're working on completely new developments that will make earlier detection possible by detecting smaller tumors with greater accuracy," he said.
GE Healthcare currently has 100 employees in Rehovot out of 500-600 employees in Israel.
Zvica Goltzman, manager of the Israeli R&D Fund at the Innovation Authority, says that in addition to its innovation and growth potential, GE Healthcare Israel is "an excellent example of an entire company that in addition to its development center, also employs support personnel, from marketing and management to production and local subcontractors."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 18, 2020
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