Bangalore: As part of its global strategy for sustainable healthcare, GE Healthcare, the $17 billion (around Rs84,000 crore) unit of General Electric Co., said on Friday it will invest $6 billion over six years in a new initiative, “healthyimagination”, that will lower costs by at least 15% and improve quality and access to healthcare by 15%.
Though the company did not provide any breakup for India, T.P. Chopra, president and chief executive of GE India, said the domestic healthcare industry “is in transition and needs substantial investment to build new models of healthcare systems”.
Of $6 billion, half is earmarked for research and development, $2 billion for financing healthcare information technology and health in rural and underserved areas, and $1 billion for partnerships, content and services.
At least 100 innovations, aimed at lowering the cost and improving accessibility, will be launched by 2015. That would mean developing new products across the technologies that GE Healthcare works in.
Under the new initiative, GE unveiled two products—a baby warmer and a portable ultrasound. These were developed in Bangalore but will be sold in emerging markets at prices up to 70% lower than their imported counterparts, said V. Raja, president and chief executive, GE Healthcare South Asia.
Globally, GE’s healthcare division saw a decline in the first quarter but the company doesn’t expect any pressure in India, where its busines has a revenue of around 500 million and continues to grow at double digit rate.
To facilitate transparency and engagement with its partners, the company announced the formation of a global advisory board that includes Devi Shetty, a Bangalore-based cardiac surgeon and chairman of hospital chain Narayana Hrudalaya Pvt. Ltd. It said a similar panel of experts will be set up in India.