This year, GD (General Devices) celebrates its 40th year in business. Considering that the stats show two thirds of new businesses last two years and about only half last five, I couldn’t be more proud with how far GD has come.
Founded in 1979 by Michael Smith, GD launched with the Prep Check electrode impedance meter, which enabled ECG and EEG clinicians to obtain clean and accurate tracings. Still the leading product of its type today, Prep Check is shipped all around the world.
In the early 80’s, GD expanded as a contract designer specializing in medical devices. During this time, GD developed MedPhone, the world’s first trans-telephonic defibrillator, which was the first project I worked on after joining GD. Well before the AEDs we see in airports and public buildings, a briefcase device could shock a patient’s heart to beat again under the remote control of a physician at a distant base station.
Contract design was a tough business and not easily scalable. So, GD pivoted, leveraging its engineering knowhow and launching its own products as a medical device manufacturer. In 1990, the release of the GEMS 2000 EMS Console was the first in a series of communications and medical telemetry products that connected Emergency Medical Services (EMS) ambulances, hospitals, and healthcare providers nationwide – a niche that proved a sweet spot for GD, one we continue to lead today.
A testament to the businesses solid foundation, 2011 marked the company’s second major pivot with the exit of its founder and transfer of the reins to long-time employees Bin Zhu, Greg Lowe, and myself. Together, we encompass over 81 years of experience at GD. In fact, GD enjoys the commitment of many longtime and lifelong career employees, something that’s not common in business today. Our emphasis on growth was affirmed in 2017 when the company earned the #2503 spot on the Inc 5000 list.
Much has changed since those pioneering days, but the company’s core value and purpose of providing Responsive Innovation for public safety responders and care providers is a constant. Fast-forward to present day, innovations in collaborative medical-team voice and data communications and mobile telemedicine remain hallmark.
GD continues to enable smarter patient care by empowering hospitals, physicians, nurses, EMS, Mobile Integrated Healthcare, Community Paramedicine, and public safety with its proven innovations like the GD CAREpoint workstation and GD e-Bridge mobile telemedicine. These highly configurable solutions are deployed in over 500 hospitals, connecting thousands of EMS agencies and touching over 15,000 emergency patient lives daily. They enable the right care, at the right place and right time to help regional systems of care deliver on the promise of where healthcare needs to go – better patient outcomes at lower costs.
Our successes over the last 40 years were made possible by a fun, diverse team of employees who are “all-in” to improve the health and well-being of the public at large, and is poised to do so for years to come.
~ Curt Bashford, CEO
GD Timeline Highlights
About GD (General Devices)
GD enables smarter patient care by empowering hospitals, EMS, community healthcare, and public safety with the most comprehensive, interactive, configurable, affordable, and integrated FDA listed medical communication and mobile telemedicine solutions. The benefits of which are enhanced workflows, minimized risk, reduced costs, and improved patient outcomes. Learn more at www.general-devices.com.