President & CEO of GE Healthcare, Eastern Growth Markets
Our vision is to be the leading innovator enabling precision health
As a leading global medical technology and life sciences company, GE Healthcare helps improve outcomes for healthcare providers and for therapy innovators around the world. “Hospitals” magazine had the privilege to meet with Mr. Elie Chaillot, President and CEO of GE Healthcare, Eastern Growth Markets to talk about his career path, GE Healthcare’s mission and vision, among other things. Below is the full interview:
Tell us briefly about your career path and when you joined GE?
I intended to become a doctor, but early on in medical school realized my preference towards the technology and business aspects of healthcare. I enrolled at Lille II University Law & Health in France and as part of their undergraduate degree program in biomedical engineering, was able to learn more about the technological, clinical and business facets of healthcare. I then completed my Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management at Institut Lillois de L’Ingenierie de la Sante (ILIS). During my studies, I was lucky enough to complete several internships with GE Healthcare and eventually joined the company full-time as an Account Manager in Paris, France.
In my more than twenty years with the company, I’ve had opportunities that have allowed me to grow and experience new challenges. I’ve worked in product management, services, and regional commercial roles in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. I spent two years as Chief Commercial Officer of our business in Japan before my appointment as chief executive of this region, which we call the Eastern Growth Markets.
I’ve enjoyed every opportunity GE has given me—it’s a great company with great people that work to deliver on a common purpose that has impact in every city and community we touch.
What are GE Healthcare’s mission and vision? How are you implementing this in the region?
Our vision is to be the leading innovator enabling precision health. Our purpose is to improve lives in the moments that matter, and elevate our customers’ ability to deliver on their mission of providing the best patient care possible.
For our region this means we’re focused on advancing healthcare. We want our region to have the best-in-class healthcare providers, service and technology so that patients get the best treatment possible without having to fly abroad. We are raising the bar on patient safety and helping caregivers become more productive and efficient so they can focus on what matters most: patients.
As a company, I want GE Healthcare to be an employer of choice, attracting and growing talent that contribute to a successful healthcare ecosystem. I believe that when you invest in the right talent and empower winning teams, customer satisfaction is inevitable. There is a strong pool of local healthcare talent in this region and it is our duty to give them opportunities to contribute to the advancement of our healthcare ecosystem.
Early diagnosis and early disease detection is key to better health. How would you evaluate GE’s role in this area today?
Early detection begins with precise technology. This technology, for example, enables clinicians to detect benign tumors before they become problematic or identify lesions that could answer favorably to treatment. However, I cannot overemphasize that we all have a responsibility to understand lifestyle-related risks and their impact on our health, and know how to recognize symptoms and seek timely professional intervention.
One of my first jobs at GE was as a product manager for magnetic resonance and healthcare digital. These are areas in which innovation is driving early diagnosis and care. Only recently, one of our long-standing customer in Kuwait, Images Diagnostic Center, implemented ViosWorks, a groundbreaking new AI-based MR software system that completes a cardiovascular scan in 10 minutes or less—significantly less than the 45 minutes to an hour it usually takes to scan a beating heart. The software and algorithms in ViosWorks not only speed up the cardiac imaging process, they provide higher quality images. This first for the region is used to diagnose and intervene earlier in cardiovascular diseases, while helping surgeons know exactly what needs to be repaired, or even indicate that surgery is unnecessary. This is but one example. We’re innovating across our portfolio and setting the bar high for the industry.
What are the latest innovations you showcased at Arab Health 2020?
At Arab Health, we launched more than 30 new imaging intelligent applications and smart devices that will help drive clinical efficiency, enhance patient comfort and improve workflow—right here in our diverse region.
If I had to highlight just a few, I’d begin with what Time Magazine named one of the ‘Best Inventions of 2019’, the Senographe Pristina with Dueta™. Many women avoid mammograms because of fear, anxiety and exam discomfort. The Pristina Dueta™ puts patients in control of their compression, using a wireless remote. The research shows that as a result, most women actually apply more pressure than a technician would, improving image quality.
Another is the Revolution™ Maxima CT, which just last week was awarded ‘Best New Radiology Device’ by industry mainstay, AuntMinnie. This powerful, high-performing CT uses innovative AI-based auto positioning to automatically center patients for a completely hands-free positioning experience.
Our award-winning Air™ Technology were also on show. These industry-first, lightweight, flexible coils are the foundation of a better MR experience. They are light, form-fitting and easy to position—it’s the closest clinicians can get to total positioning freedom with 360-degree coverage. The last solution we showcased that I’d highlight are our Command Centers, which equip hospitals with real-time decision support tools and along with process improvement targeted using digital twins of patient flow. These Command Centers feature anywhere from 5 to 20 decision support applications, or ‘tiles’ to pinpoint opportunities to reduce length of stay, increase imaging utilization, get ahead of patient bottle-necks or issues and much more, all in near real-time and in some cases, predicting issues before they occur.
Overall, what really set our latest innovations apart was that many of these devices and applications were developed using Edison, GE Healthcare’s secure intelligence platform that help both our own developers and select strategic partners to design, develop, manage, secure and distribute advanced applications, services and AI algorithms quickly.
Artificial intelligence is taking over healthcare. What are the benefits of AI in healthcare, and how is GE using it to enable greater precision?
It is clear that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and analytics will be the game changers that drive positive outcomes for patients as well as providers, caregivers and other stakeholders across the health ecosystem. One of the biggest assets of any health ecosystems is the availability of data—patient records, archival imaging data, digital pathology, etc. Add to this the data from connected devices and wearables. These application need to be integrated seamlessly into existing workflows and care areas to provide real value to clinicians. Right now this data is siloed and fragmented. By integrating data, intelligent software applications and smart devices, we’ll enable clinicians to make faster, more informed decisions.
GE is making significant investments in applying AI and analytics to healthcare data to uncover insights that improve patient outcomes, reduce waste and inefficiencies, and eliminate costly and harmful errors. We are also integrating these technologies into our leading imaging and monitoring equipment, like the examples I just gave you. Bringing together medical device and digital capabilities, the clinical and domain knowledge, combined with our deep relationships and long history in the healthcare industry, gives us a unique role to play in driving the future of health around the world.
Coronavirus is in the headlines around the world. What is GE Healthcare doing on this?
Our first priority is the health and safety of our colleagues and partners. Our supply chain is global and we’re able to serve the market from different origins.
The GE Healthcare team is fulfilling the urgent need for medical equipment by providing, installing and servicing technology where it’s needed most. In fact, GE has donated approximately $2.8m worth of resources and medical equipment to support China, including the Wuhan Red Cross. This includes our Revolution™ Maxima CT, which was just installed in a new hospital in Wuhan and can play an important role in detection of COVID-19.*
We continue to closely monitor this very dynamic situation and do everything we can to support our employees, partners and communities around the world.
Anything else you’d like to add as a final message about GE and future strategies?
We’ve been in the region for more than 80 years, and we will continue supporting our public and private sector partners in delivering the best patient care possible. We will continue innovating to help improve productivity and efficiency. We will continue investing in robust partnership models and solutions that, combined with our technology, add tremendous value for our customers. And we will continue to be a proud employer in the region, attracting and retaining the best talent and investing in the development of the next generation of leaders.
*Updated on date of interview, March 3, 2020