GE HealthCare CEO: Unlimited Opportunities for Medical Device Manufacturing in India

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GE HealthCare’s president and CEO of South Asia, Chaitanya Sarawate, believes that the opportunities for the manufacturing of medical devices in India are “almost unlimited.” In an interview, Sarawate highlighted the transformative power of new-age technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) in improving healthcare quality and access.

Sarawate emphasized the integration of software-driven logic with digital devices, stating that GE HealthCare believes in solutions that are linked, responsive, and predictive. The company has leveraged Amazon Web Services to enhance infrastructure scalability for research and development (R&D) and production.

Regarding the growth opportunities in the medical devices industry, Sarawate pointed out two significant changes in India’s healthcare sector. First, the pandemic has spurred increased investments in healthcare infrastructure to improve access to quality care. Second, initiatives like Make in India have shifted the perception of the medical devices industry within the Indian business ecosystem.

Sarawate noted that with the expansion of healthcare and government schemes such as the Production Linked Incentive (PLI), there is immense potential for manufacturing medical devices for the domestic market, given the country’s high import dependence. Additionally, these investments in manufacturing will not only improve access to quality healthcare but also contribute to export revenues.

The adoption of digital innovations by healthcare institutions has been accelerated by the pandemic. Sarawate mentioned the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) as a significant step toward implementing digital systems like unique health IDs, electronic medical records, and more. The collaboration between industry, academia, and the government is crucial in bringing these solutions to patients and ensuring a seamless digital healthcare experience.

GE HealthCare has been actively collaborating with startups and academia to create ecosystem value. The company’s Edison Accelerator program aims to develop technology-backed healthcare solutions through partnerships with startups. They have also established the Healthcare Innovation Lab with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) to address real-time challenges in care delivery.

Sarawate highlighted the transformative potential of advanced technologies such as AI, machine learning, robotics, cloud computing, and 5G in the healthcare infrastructure space. AI-led solutions can improve diagnosis, actionable insights, and therapy outcomes. 5G infrastructure, with its high-speed connectivity, can facilitate the adoption of IoT and AI systems, enabling remote monitoring of vital signs and streamlined data synchronization between consumers, hospitals, and insurance companies.

In terms of GE HealthCare’s initiatives, the company has actively embraced the Make in India vision. Over a third of their product manufacturing and assembly for the Indian market and global sales are now done in India. They have more than 30 products made in India that are sold in over 70 countries.

Overall, Sarawate’s optimism about the growth opportunities in the medical devices industry in India reflects the transformative potential of new technologies and the commitment of stakeholders to improve healthcare accessibility and quality.

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