Improving Health Outcomes in India
GE Healthcare, a pioneer in medical technology, is moving towards becoming a standalone business next year outside of GE group. This development came along with the recent visit of Kieran Murphy, CEO and President of GE Healthcare, who was in India for the first time after taking charge of the company in June 2017.
Murphy was part of the exclusive media day session- Pulse organized by GE on October 8-9, 2018, at the John F. Welch Technology Centre (JFWTC), the formal name of the GE Global Research and Technology development site located in Whitefield, Bengaluru. The JFWTC is GE’s first and largest integrated, multidisciplinary research and development centre outside the US.
“Of the total countries where GE is having operations, India is ranked among the top five markets. Technology can play a very big role in improving the health of a nation. With Ayushman Bharat coming along, we intend to work towards making precision health a prime agenda. Early detection of any sort can make a difference in addressing a number of healthcare issues. We are looking towards bringing in low cost devices in partnership with the government. Also, we intend to combine expertise and leadership for serving the needs of healthcare providers, biopharmaceutical and medical tech companies. We are looking at developing smarter machines to enable data integration”, pointed out Murphy during the media interaction.
He also announced a recent collaboration between Wipro GE Healthcare (WGE) and the Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering and Research (SAMEER), an R&D unit under Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Government of India, for the development of an Indigenous 1.5T MRI system. The government has already provided the first $6.5 million to SAMEER to build a prototype of its MRI machine, for which it is seeking help from GE. “This programme is strongly aligned with the government’s vision to boost research and ‘Make in India’, and will support Ayushman Bharat through availability of cutting edge yet affordable MRI technology. This partnership will significantly enhance India’s capability and competitiveness in the field of medical technology”, explained Murphy.
The $20 billion company with local expertise in more than 140 countries has over the time developed around 150 public-private-partnerships (PPP) in India. The company has partnered with the Healthcare Sector Skills Council (HSSC) and has so far trained 2,500 students to ensure easy availability of skilled personnel. By 2019, the company is looking ahead to train 5,000 community health workers and 3,000 underprivileged young people of which a large chunk will be women workforce entering the healthcare mainstream operating GE Healthcare medical equipment.
Sharing his views on the healthcare scenario in India, Nalinikanth Gollagunta, president and CEO, GE Healthcare South Asia said, “Healthcare in India is clearly all about private entrepreneurship. Frugal innovation by various entrepreneurs have gradually enabled to create technology infrastructure in India. In order to overcome the current challenges in healthcare, GE intends to now increase focus on precision engineering, cloud computing and artificial intelligence and devise strategic investment”.
The media session came to end with a full display of the innovations that have taken place at the research and development centre at GE over the past few years. GE Healthcare is aggressively inching towards developing imaging technology, artificial intelligence based diagnostics and related therapies. It is evident that India will continue to play an important role for GE Healthcare as it houses the largest research and development centre where a lot of product innovation is taking place.
(Dr Manbeena Chawla was invited for the Media Day Pulse programme by GE Healthcare)
(L-R) Nalinikanth Gollagunta, President and CEO, GE Healthcare, South Asia; Dileep Mangsuli: CTO, GE Healthcare, South Asia; Dr Sulabha Ranade, Director General, SAMEER; Kieran Murphy, Global President and CEO, GE Healthcare; Sunita Verma, Scientist F, R&D in Medical Electronics and Health Informatics Division, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India (GoI); Arvind Kumar, Scientist G and Group Coordinator (R&D in Electronics), MeitY, GoI.