Company: GE Healthcare
Headquarters: Little Chalfont, U.K.
R&D spending fiscal 2011: $1.3 billion
Priorities and Projects: Consider how much GE Healthcare means to its global conglomerate parent, General Electric ($GE). Out of $4.6 billion GE spent for R&D for its various divisions, $1.3 billion went to GE Healthcare. That is a 7% jump from the previous fiscal year, and among the biggest R&D budgets of the top 10 medical device companies. GE Healthcare says it spreads its R&D investment readily between its diagnostics (including genomic sequencing and molecular diagnostics), healthcare IT and life sciences arms. Alzheimer's is one area of specific interest; GE Healthcare is developing its flutemetamol imaging agent as a tool to potentially improve diagnosis of the deadly neurodegenerative disease. Last fall, the company also announced that it would commit $1 billion of its total R&D budget through 2020 to cancer research, with a search for new diagnostics and treatments. Not to be forgotten, GE is well into a $3 billion 5-year effort begun in 2010 to find new approaches to health that can cut costs.
(GE Healthcare has long been a leader in medical devices innovation, including with its portable ECG device, the MAC 800.)