General Electric's ( GE) health care unit and the ultrasound company Volcano ( VOLC) said Thursday that they received Food and Drug Administration clearance to use a new technique in GE's Innova line of medical-imaging systems.

GE shares edged higher, and Volcano shares rose nearly 2% on the news.

The decision allows GE Healthcare to integrate Volcano's intravascular ultrasound imaging capabilities with its Innova all-digital X-ray catheterization lab imaging system. The system is designed to give doctors a clearer view of certain heart functions than had previously been possible.

The new product, Innova IVUS, will also be smaller, lighter and less noisy than traditional platforms. It should shorten procedure times, improve the identification of artery diseases and assist in procedures including stent placement and assessment.

"This technological development heralds a new beginning for advanced, real-time imaging in the cardiac catheterization laboratory," Laura King, global vice president and general manager of GE Healthcare's interventional, cardiology and surgery unit, said in a statement.

Separately, GE Healthcare Financial Services and Capital Senior Living ( CSU) formed a new joint venture that has completed a $38.2 million acquisition of three senior housing communities in the metropolitan Indianapolis area.

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