December 2013

Working Towards Healthier India

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A key GE priority is to help prevent the ‘analysis paralysis’ that practitioners face today, by using technology to surface the most relevant data, contributing to accurate and faster care. Terri Bresenham, President & CEO, South Asia, GE Healthcare, shares her views and vision with Shahid Akhter, ENN

GE Healthcare’s spirit of volunteerism is laudable. Can you please tell us more about the ‘Mission on wheels’ that you flagged off recently.
It is a special purpose vehicle called “Mission Healthier India” with about 20 low cost healthcare technologies on board. The vehicles will travel to the nooks and corners of rural India. One of the things we realized is that there is a gap of awareness on how the technologies are benefiting the people in a primary care. And even if they know that, they assume that these technologies are expensive. So, we are trying to accomplish both – giving them their first hand exposure into the technologies and explain what it can do in patient diagnosis and discuss its affordability.

Considering GE’s global outreach in Healthcare, Indian market is just a small fraction. How do you perceive and address this small fraction?
India is an incredibly important market for us. One of the unique characteristics of the Indian market is that it’s not like other markets in the sense of government reimbursements or private insurance. There is much lesser government reimbursement and relatively little private insurance. The market is driven more by consumerism than any other market in the globe so that makes it one level more competitive and also very focused on value and super value. So I’d say that’s a very defining characteristic. It’s a very big market with a lot of people.

Please tell us more about GE’s Health care public-private partnership in India.
GE Healthcare is the first company in India to create a PPP model in the space of radiology imaging way back in 2007. Today, we have PPP projects in 12 States and the recent one with Maharashtra will equip over 22 hospitals. It is a great value proposition for all parties involved – Government do not have to invest in expensive medical technologies or skilled manpower to run these centres. It is taken care of by a consortium involving GE and a service provider. Government has to simply provide space for setting up these high end centres that are world class and can provide world class service at Government fixed rates to more patients who need them. It is also an additional benefit for government run medical colleges to provide access to students to get their hands on technology training.

GE Healthcare is believed to have invested $2 billion in software development. Please elaborate on this aspect of Industrial Internet.
Our industrial internet mission is to create and enable technology and services that can improve the way healthcare is delivered to patients globally. “By identifying, liberating and analyzing the data captured by software and technology, caregivers will have the information they need when they need it to help enable them to prevent, diagnose, treat and cure. We’re on a positive path but more must be done to build productivity which can lead to higher quality patient care. A key GE priority is to help prevent the ‘analysis paralysis’ that practitioners face today, by using technology to surface the most relevant data, contributing to accurate and faster care.”

” GE can fuse its 100+ year track record of revolutionizing healthcare with tomorrow’s technology to stay ahead of constantly evolving healthcare needs. “

Please tell us about GE’s foray into the Diagnostics (imaging) in the Indian market.
GE Healthcare has a rich 115 plus years in providing healthcare solutions including healthcare imaging, life sciences, detection and navigation systems, healthcare IT and care solutions.
GE Healthcare has been present in India from early 70s. GE Healthcare formally entered India through a joint venture with Wipro in 1990 and is the leader in healthcare technology solutions in India. Wipro GE Healthcare was the first company to set up a high end manufacturing plant for healthcare imaging systems like ultrasound, CT etc. as early as 1991. GE Healthcare was the first company to set up a world class R&D Centre for healthcare solutions. Today, GE Healthcare has 3 manufacturing plants in India and the largest healthcare R&D Centre to design and develop newer, lower cost solutions to improve access to quality healthcare in India and the world.
GE Healthcare is the largest domestic healthcare company in India with $570 million revenue. Every year, we release between 50-60 new innovations in imaging and diagnostics area. Our technologies help do 700,000 procedures or support as many lives every day in the country. It is a great achievement and we thank the Indian healthcare fraternity for their trust and support in our growth.
Today, GE Healthcare is at work for a healthier India focusing on 5 critical components – Firstly,we are working to bring down the maternal and infant mortality rates.
• The second part of the mission is to lower the cardiac disease burden and especially address the ‘golden hour’ in a cardiac attack to save lives.
• The third area is oncology as it being a huge burden in India and growing. We expect to launch a cost effective India designed PET/CT soon.
• The fourth area is about designing products in India for India and the world which can provide super vaue to our users. We target to bring about 100 lower cost solutions that can improve healthcare access. We have already launched 25 solutions from India and most of them are distributed around the world too.

As on today, we are launching a low cost solution called “Akta Start” to automate and lower cost of protein purifications at laboratory scale.

Please outline some of the innovative products launched recently and products in pipeline?
There are a number of innovations we do in India and a number of innovations we bring to India from our labs across the world. We launch about 50-60 newer innovations every year. In India, we are targeting to develop 100 new solutions and have launched about 25 including few this week spanning across all healthcare imaging and other specialties. For example – Brivo XR 115 is a mobile high frequency system we are launching today. This is a first of its kind system and offers lower radiation that is safe even for newborns.
Another example is a series of ultrasound systems – LOGIQ- Both LOGIQ and Voluson are high end platforms. They were also expensive as they were being imported and now we have redesigned them in India to lower the cost thereby making them more accessible to doctors. We have also made imaging easy with tools such as Scan Coach. Silent MRI is an exclusive and first of its kind of technology to hit the market recently.
We will see a series of innovations getting introduced in the upcoming RSNA including features like Dose Watch to help users manage radiation dose better. In India, you will see new super value technologies coming in the area of oncology, maternal infant care, patient monitoring and general imaging in the next few months.

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