GE reports The first X-rays to molecular medicine


This is a great article with some real history from GE. There are some Photographs below and more on there website. Be sure to follow up with in a couple months when I speak with Mr. Michael Harsh about the future of GE’s medical division. Here at we want to see what new technological advances GE is making in the medical field today. How will MRI, CT, &  PET make differences in the way routine diagnostic exams are done? What will be next? Will there ever be one scanner that does everything? hmm?………stay tuned. m-the-first-x-rays-to-molecular-medicine/



Albert Einstein once noted that “imagination is more important than knowledge.” Yesterday on Capitol Hill, Michael Harsh, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at GE Healthcare, quoted Einstein’s maxim in remarks at a U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging forum on the future of healthcare called “Aging in America: Future Challenges, Promise and Potential.” Discussing healthcare innovation, Harsh said that knowledge was “limited to all we know while imagination embraces the entire world and all there ever will be to know.”

Yet knowledge and imagination are both the pillars of innovation. The record of Harsh’s business division, GE Healthcare, shows that the company stands firmly on both. In 1896 Willhelm Roentgen experimented with cathode-ray tubes and noticed that light was passing through solids. Referencing the mysterious light, he called the phenomenon X-rays and took a grainy picture of the bones in his wife’s hand. Just one year later, Thomas Edison and fellow GE engineer Elihu Thomson improved on Roentgen’s idea with insights from light bulb technology they had been developing and made the fluoroscope, the wFast forward to 1932, when GE’s Irving Langmuir won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work that led to early coronary artery imaging. Forty years later, GE’s Ivar Giaever received the Nobel in1973 for research that made magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, possible.


GE also employed Emile Gabby, who is known around the world as the father of mammography. Gabby developed a revolutionary x-ray tube design that made it possible to image soft tissue with unprecedented resolution. The positive impact on women’s healthcare is incalculable.

Irving Langmuir with Boy Scouts, 1950: General Electric Research Laboratory scientist Irving Langmuir gives a science demonstration to a group of Boy Scouts. Langmuir championed science education for children during his career at GE, and was honored by the Boy Scouts of America with their Silver Beaver and Silver Buffalo awards.

Used with permission from the GE Photographic Collection, at Schenectady Museum and Suits-Bueche Planetarium.

What innovations will change healthcare tomorrow? Most recently, GE’s scientists have been working on ways to combine the power of imaging technology with molecular biology and pathology. “We are moving from a healthcare paradigm where we ‘see and treat’ existing disease, to the ability to detect disease at the molecular level before physical symptoms emerge, and to treat that disease at a much earlier stage when it is much less costly to address and more advantageous to the patient’s quality of life,” said Harsh. Perhaps a breakthrough even Edison couldn’t have imagined.

orld’s first commercially available x-ray machine. For the first time, physicians could identify bone fractures and locate foreign objects in the body.




Testing the CT-Scanner, 1976: Dr. Arthur Bueche, Director of the General Electric Research and Development Center tests a computerized tomography scanner (CT-Scanner).

Used with permission from the GE Photographic Collection, at Schenectady Museum and Suits-Bueche Planetarium.



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