CT has been around for four decades but is only now capable of imaging the heart quickly enough to provide freeze-frame images of the muscle in action.
The two companies likely got together through President Joseph Pepper, who was president of OEC Medical Systems, a flouroscopic imaging company, when it was sold to GE in 1999. Yosi Morik, a financial trader based in Chicago, is chairman of Arineta. Other officers are Israeli scientists.
Cardiac CT has been considered a ripe market for years, with such procedures as CT angiography producing results for a radiologist that previously required a cardiologist. Nuclear imaging and cardiology sometimes have an uneasy relationship, with the cost of equipment being a major issue.
The overall CT market is growing slowly, worth maybe $1.3 billion right now, but cardiac CT is one of the fastest-growing components of that market, because it lets radiologists produce diagnoses with imaging that previously required surgery. Cardiac CT got its own billing codes this year, which will also spur growth.
GE Healthcare hopes the Arineta tie can help it compete with companies like Toshiba, which has been upgrading existing systems through software. For Arineta the deal offers first class access to the lucrative U.S. market, as GE is a major supplier of hospital imaging systems.