At the 2011 Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) meeting, GE introduced its Innova IGS (Image-Guided System) to the market. The introduction raises the question of whether this is truly a new system, an improved version of their current Innova 2100, 3100, and 4100 series, or product repositioning with a new name in the cardiac, vascular, and cardiovascular market?
The family of Innova products has been offered in three single-plane versions:
- Innova 2100 – Small field of view detector (FOV) – Primarily cardiac applications
- Innova 3100 – Mid FOV – Vascular and combination cardiac/vascular applications
- Innova 4100 – Large FOV – Primarily vascular applications
There have been two biplane versions:
- Innova 2121 – Biplane small FOV – Cardiac (pediatric) and neurological applications
- Innova 3131 – Biplane mid FOV – Multi-application: cardiac, vascular, neurological applications
GE has now replaced these with the Innova IGS solutions:
- Innova IGS 520 – Small field of view detector (FOV) – Primarily cardiac applications
- Innova IGS 530 – Mid FOV – Vascular and combination cardiac/vascular applications
- Innova IGS 540 – Large FOV – Primarily vascular applications
- Innova IGS 620 – Biplane small FOV – Cardiac (pediatric) and neurological applications (pending – not yet released)
- Innova IGS 630 – Biplane mid FOV – Multi-application: cardiac, vascular, neurological applications
Cosmetic Changes: There is a change in the color used. GE moved to a matte black accent color on the gantry.
Component Changes: None that can be clearly determined at present. The large screen, multi-functional monitor will become the standard monitor configuration replacing the traditional multiple 19″-21″ flat panel monitors used in the past.
Feature Changes: Limited at this point, but I believe this is the platform that GE will be using to begin extending their technology applications into more and more advanced imaging applications. They have added a green LED on the gantry arm as a visual indicator that the gantry is powered to make those aware the positioner is powered and may be moving.
New Innovation: GE unveiled a truly new innovation at the 2011 RSNA meeting in early December, 2011. Traditional high-end angiography systems are permanently mounted to the floor or ceiling. The IGS 730 combines the image quality characteristics of a full, permanent angiography system with the mobility of a mobile C-arm. The Innova IGS 730 is a laser-guided, floor-positioned system that is totally mobile and can be moved anywhere around the table for complete, flexible patient access depending upon the application/procedure being performed. This system is not currently available in the US; it is pending FDA 510k approval.
Conclusion: Initially, it appears there is very little substantial difference in the single and biplane IGS versions now being offered by GE Healthcare as compared to the previous versions. Based on currently available information, I believe it is more of a product repositioning/renaming in the marketplace. However, I believe there will be new applications and application-specific packaging of software options forthcoming. These will likely begin to differentiate the IGS series from the former series. The large multi-functional monitor is a clear difference in terms of options, but the core system appears to be relatively unchanged or at least there is no apparent difference at this time.
Pricing on the Innova IGS series is very similar to the Innova 2100, 3100, and 4100 series, but based on actual quotations sent to MD Buyline for analysis, initial discounting appears to be a bit lower. This may be a natural function of deals that are being quoted at the beginning of the fiscal year rather than toward the end of the fiscal year. However, it also may be a strategic decision by GE to begin to try and raise their average selling price to a bit higher price point than they have had in the past; only time will reveal which of these options is reality.
The Innova IGS 730 (pending 510k) system is a new concept. It remains to be seen how well this mobile solution with advanced imaging technology is received by the market. It will also be interesting to see whether this will help GE overcome a long-standing competitive challenge in their product line: the lack of a ceiling-mounted solution for angiography. In the overall angiography market, based on MD Buyline activity levels of actual quotes sent in for review, ceiling-mounted positioners outnumber floor-mounted solutions by about 4:1 from the most active vendors competitive to GE, such as Philips and Siemens. While not the entire reason, I believe the lack of a ceiling-mounted positioner has been a major contributing factor to GE’s lower activity level in the market. In the past year, based on MD Buyline quotes reviewed, GE had 22% of the market; Siemens had 27% and Philips had 41% with the remaining 10% going primarily to Toshiba and a small amount to Shimadzu.