February 10, 2023 — GE HealthCare, a leading global precision care innovator, announced that it 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 U.S. for hospitalized patients over the age of 651. 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 aging2. A study 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 progression3. 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 nationwide4, with cases on the rise following the COVID pandemic5.
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.
Caption Health also has a strong development pipeline of AI software, including innovative technology for the use of ultrasound in pulmonary applications.
The consummation of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms of the transaction are not being disclosed. GE HealthCare intends to fund this transaction with cash on hand.
For more information: https://www.gehealthcare.com/
1 Emory Healthcare, Heart Failure Statistics, 2022
3 Sandhu, A. et al. (2021). Disparity in the Setting of Incident Heart Failure Diagnosis. (Circulation: Heart Failure)