Digitization Now Within “Reach” of Small Indian Hospitals and Diagnostic Centers


GE Healthcare unveiled a new designed “In India, for India” low cost IT solution – GE Centricity PACS Reach, a Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) aimed at affordably digitizing India’s 15,000-plus small diagnostic centres and hospitals, a market that’s traditionally lower in clinical image volume but is growing at a tremendous pace in India’s Tier-II and Tier-III cities.  Centricity PACS Reach endeavors to bring this market faster image access, greater efficiency & lower operational costs.

Priced at roughly one-tenth the cost of comparable imported solutions, Centricity Reach is a compact, web-deployable, image processing, distribution and reporting solution that can be used from within and outside a healthcare facility.  It is the first of its kind simple solution for low volume diagnostic centers and small private hospitals.  Centricity PACS Reach enables a complete film-less operation delivering powerful, global standards-based and secure DICOM storage with image distribution any time, anywhere. It has a fully integrated rich feature set of image viewing capabilities, seamless navigation, express reporting and teleradiology support ideally suited for customers in Tier-II and Tier-III cities and has immense potential to expedite healthcare IT adoption in India and other emerging countries.

It’s widely accepted that IT adoption in the Indian healthcare segment has been slow and only a handful of Indian hospitals or diagnostic centres are IT-enabled today due to the relative high cost of imported IT solutions. Centricity PACS Reach is priced at Rs.5 Lakhs per unit compared to more robust imported systems that are available upwards of Rs.50 Lakhs to Rs. 10 Crores with many features that may be required only for advanced clinical usage and scale to support high patient procedure volumes.  Centricity Reach is designed and developed at GE’s John F Welch Global Research Centre, Bangalore, specifically to meet India’s unique value requirements.

“IT delivers information to the heart of healthcare institutions and to the fingertips of providers and patients seamlessly, anywhere, anytime,” said Vishal Wanchoo, President & CEO of GE Healthcare IT.  “We’re not strangers here. We understand the challenges Indian healthcare is facing between disparate clinics, sparse information sharing, bandwidth challenges and the paperwork barrier.  We are committed to begin changing this through solutions that we will develop in India, for India, to help expand healthcare’s reach to more people.”

India, with a population of 1.3 Billion, has fewer than 0.7 beds per 1000 people and an acute shortage of healthcare professionals.  70% of India’s population continues to live in Tier II, III cities and rural areas with limited access to quality healthcare.  Healthcare IT solutions will help increase patient access and bridge the acute shortage of well-trained healthcare professionals – like radiologists.  With GE Healthcare’s low-cost Centricity PACS Reach systems, healthcare providers can now expand their reach by creating hub and spoke models of care, with existing set of trained healthcare professionals.

“IT is the backbone of any good healthcare system,” said V Raja, president & CEO, GE Healthcare South Asia.  “India, unfortunately, lags behind in this sector though the country is known for its broad-based IT strengths.  Just as it has helped grow other businesses in India, IT can help bring affordable healthcare to millions and help the industry grow.”

To reduce the adverse social & economic impact of rapid growth in incidence of lifestyle related disease, it is imperative that medical technologies drive early & affordable diagnosis and therefore earlier treatment. While GE Healthcare continues to drive down cost on diagnostic equipment through our “In India, for India” approach, the company strongly believes that Healthcare IT will form an integral link, connecting these systems to radiologists & clinicians while driving greater access, improved efficiency and productivity.

”India has a huge advantage today,” added Raja, “We have the chance to adopt IT as we are building our healthcare system and not farther on, as we’ve seen in some developed economies.  IT adoption now can bring healthcare costs down, increase quality of diagnosis consistently and improve healthcare reach drastically. We are extremely proud to bring this low-cost Centricity Reach solution and believe its potential to spread affordable healthcare delivery across India will be realized almost immediately“.

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news room @ ge healthcare

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