One is a massive education and training programme in association with hospitals and healthcare training institutes. The objective is to develop 100,000 skilled healthcare workers over the next five years.
The second is a significant advance on its programme to develop in India what it calls “super value” products – quality products that are priced significantly lower than imported equivalents. The latest in that series is a computed tomography (CT) system, which is the result of Rs 120 crore in investment and collaborative efforts of GE and Indian healthcare providers for over four years. GE’s R&D centre in Bengaluru is its largest outside that in the US.
“It’s one of the most sophisticated products we have developed and built here,” said John Flannery, president & CEO of GE Healthcare, who was in Bengaluru for the launch. CT systems are all generally imported.
Terri Bresenham, president & CEO of GE Healthcare South Asia, said the company had filed ten patents on the product. The product is said to consume 40% less power, produces much lower radiation doses, and is priced about 40% less than imported equivalents. Bresenham said a number of hospitals in tier 2 and 3 cities had already placed orders.
The CT system is the 26th product in the super value category. Flannery said the sales performance of products in the category had consistently exceeded GE’s initial expectations. Other products in the category include a mobile x-ray equipment, baby warmer, and portable ECG machine.
On the training programme, Flannery said the initiative was among the largest skill enhancement programmes for GE Healthcare in the world. The first institute has just commenced operations in Mumbai and is fully funded and run by GE Healthcare. The first batch of students is taking up a radiology technologist certified programme. The objective is to have 4,000 programmes over time.
GE has tied up with the Manipal Health Foundation in Karnataka, with Max Institute of Health Education & Research, with ILFS Skills Development Corporation and with several other organizations to establish institutes around the country.