GE Healthcare to make more diagnostic devices in India (Lead)March 17th, 2011 - 7:51 pm ICT by IANS
Bangalore, March 17 (IANS) Global medical equipment major GE Healthcare will roll out more innovative diagnostic devices for the growing wellness market in the country, a senior executive said Thursday.
“We will invest an additional $50 million (Rs.225 million) to set up more facilities for making nine-ten new products every year for diagnostic services, including anaesthesia, ventilation, CT (computer tomography) systems and molecular imaging,” GE Healthcare Systems chief executive Omar Ishrak told reporters here.
The $16-billion British-based subsidiary of the General Electric Company (GE) has eight production plants across India where a range of high-tech medical equipment is designed, developed and customised for the growing healthcare market.
As part of its global ‘healthy-imagination’ initiative, the company has been focusing on providing cost-effective solutions for diagnosing and treating cardiovascular and other fatal diseases like cancer on priority.
“Creating right technology is crucial for helping save millions of lives. To date, we have rolled out 11 solutions from India, for India and the world, the latest being two advanced cardiac care products — a digital, eco-friendly echocardiogram (ECG) system and cardiac ultrasound system,” Ishrak said.
According to a recent study by the Indian Semiconductor Association (ISA), the domestic medical equipment market is estimated to double — to Rs.9,735 crore ($2 billion) over the next five years from its current value of Rs.3,850 crore, growing at around 17 percent CAGR (cumulative average growth rate).
The ECG system, branded GE MAC 600 and priced at Rs.60,000-Rs.756,000, is a lightweight, portable, easy to use digital testing device suited for physicians even in small towns and rural areas.
“The ECG device has been designed, developed and assembled in India to save time, energy and paper, as its results are presented on-screen with options to save them in memory cards,” GE Healthcare India president V. Raja said at a preview of the products.
The ultrasound system, branded GE Vivid P3 and priced at Rs.1.1-1.1 million, is a dedicated machine meant to detect a cardiac condition with a real-time non-invasive imaging of the heart.
“As import substituted products, both the diagnostic devices are 50-60 percent cheaper than their counterparts overseas,” Raja asserted.
Amidst steady rise in chronic diseases, aging populations and escalating treatment costs, heart diseases have emerged as the number one killer in both urban and rural areas of the Indian sub-continent.
According to the National Commission on Macro-economics and Health, 25 percent deaths occur in the 25-69 age group and 19 percent in all age groups because of heart diseases.
“Cardiovascular disease has quadrupled in India during the last four decades and the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that by 2020, about 60 percent of cardiac patients worldwide will be from India, with the probability of heart attack six years earlier than people anywhere else,” GE Healthcare chief executive John Dineen said on the occasion.
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