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GE launches MAC 400, first compact ECG to be designed, developed and manufactured in India, for India.

In Business, Healthcare, India on May 4, 2009 at 1:47 pm

By Antoinette Alexander

GE Healthcare, the health solutions business of General Electric Co., is innovating in India and has several healthcare product launches in the pipeline as part of its effort to bring affordable healthcare to the country.

The Business Standard reports that the $17 billion GE Healthcare unit wants to obtain a dominant share of the electrocardiogram (ECG) technologies market within four years, and will launch over the next 18 months an enhanced version of its ECG device MAC 400. The new product is called MAC 600. MAC 400 was introduced last year and was developed in an effort to deliver affordable healthcare in India. While MAC 400 is priced at the higher end, $800 to $1,000, the device can deliver ECG reports for less than a dollar.

Measuring the electrical activity of the heart through an electro-cardiogram (ECG) is the very first step in assessing a patient’s heart health. The device can better predict and diagnose patients at risk of heart diseases. The innovative unit is small enough to fit in a physician’s backpack and run for up to a week, or 100 ECGs, on a single battery charge. This flexibility enables cardiac health assessments in urban or rural settings, making an important element of healthcare accessible to a larger section of society. The unit is particularly suited for rural India where healthcare is delivered through primary health clinics. Though India has 23,000 clinics and 123,000 subcenters that serve rural areas, patients commonly have to travel nearly 20 kilometers for primary hospital care, making ECG portability very attractive.

For the maternal-infant care segment, the company is developing a baby warmer that will act as an incubator, transporter and will also provide phototherapy to treat infant jaundice. This multi-functional device is expected to launch next year.

In India, GE Healthcare offers such products as X-ray, maternal-infant care, critical ventilators, ultrasound and ECG. Among them is India’s first Digital X-ray System. Over the next two to three years, the company is looking to launch as many as 10 new products like a low-cost MRI and portable X-ray system. With this, GE Healthcare expects to double its current Indian turnover to $1 billion in three to four years, the report stated.

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