GE Healthcare’s new MAC i for low cost early Heart disease detection in India

Quality cardiac early detection to now cost Rs.9 for a patient
with the new MAC i system – lower than the cost of a bottle of mineral
water
– GE Healthcare to provide ECG reading skills training to physicians & para-health staff
– Tie-up with SBI Card to offer unique financing solutions
– Donates first MAC i unit to HelpAge India to screen elderly people in rural areas

Heart
disease is the number one killer in the world and India carries nearly
60% of this burden.  It is rising alarmingly and affects every one –
rich & poor, urban or rural.  As part of GE’s healthymagination
commitment, GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Company launched MAC i, In India, For India ECG innovation
that has the potential to reduce ECG price to as low as Rs.9/-. 

Earlier,
GE Healthcare re-defined affordability of quality ECG system prices
through introduction of MAC 400. MAC 400 reduced cost of ECG systems to
1/3rd of similar quality imported ECG systems.   Today, MAC 400 is
successfully used in many countries, thanks to its high quality, low
cost, easy operation and portability. The new MAC i will make quality
cardiac early detection doubly affordable as it is available to
physicians at half the cost of MAC 400 – only Rs.25000/-.

"We
are seeing a tipping point in healthcare today.  We believe technical
innovations can drive solutions and value for our customers.  We are
developing at least 100 innovations that will reduce the cost of
procedure, increase access and improve quality.  Tomorrow, they will be
used everywhere in the world – just like our In India, For India
products – MAC 400, Lullaby baby warmer… said V Raja, President &
CEO, GE Healthcare South Asia. “ Today, we are launching new solutions
as part of this commitment which are low cost, simple and easy to use.
They can potentially bridge the acute shortage of healthcare experts,
healthcare insurance and electricity in rural India,” he added.

73%
of India’s population lives in rural areas today but nearly 80% of the
healthcare providers, especially specialists are clustered in urban
centers, making the situation even worse.  Patients have to travel long
distances to meet experts and many times this happens only when there
is a fatal attack; many of them do not reach a hospital in time.  
"Early detection" is key to tackling heart disease. Measuring the
electrical activity of the heart through an ECG is the very first step
in early detection of cardiac disease.  Acute shortage of experts,
unavailability of appropriate technology and high costs have been a big
barrier to making this a reality.  

Empowering the available
physicians and para-health staff locally will facilitate early
detection of potentially fatal cardiac disease and help reduce
mortality.  Simple to use, low cost devices and tele-medicine
technologies are what are needed in the absence of insurance coverage
and non-availability of experts and consistent electricity supply.  

GE
Healthcare today donated the first MAC i unit to HelpAge India to
facilitate early cardiac detection for elderly patients in sub-urban
and reaching he un-reached areas in India.  "Innovations like these
help us take advanced diagnosis to the bed side of the patient,
wherever they are. HelpAge has a mobile clinic which serves elderly and
under privileged. This MAC i from GE Healthcare will add cardiac early
detection capabilities to our Mobile Clinic." said Rekha Murthy, Senior
Manager, HelpAge India.

MAC i makes cardiac early detection very
easy through its simple, one touch operation.  It is a single channel
ECG system capable of printing in 3 channels at the same time – which
means ECG can be printed line by line per page or 3 lines on one page.
It is very easy for any para-health staff or physician to use the
system anywhere with just a few minutes of training.  It is capable of
completing 500 3-channel ECGs or 250 single channel ECGs for every 3
hour battery charge, which equals one month of operation in a village
where availability of electricity is a major constraint. It is
particularly suited for rural India where healthcare is delivered
through Primary Health Clinics or individual physician clinics. The MAC
i comes with the highly accurate and clinically proven Marquette 12SLTM
analysis program. The same quality that resides in the premium ECG
devices is made available in the compact MAC i to enable every
physician to use the GE technology and perform reliable ECGs on every
patient.

MAC i will be show-cased at the Cardiological Society of India congress from December 2 – 5, 2009 at Cochin, India.

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