GE Healthcare India’s R & D department has introduced a low-cost, pocket-sized ultrasound machine with a cost range of $6500 to $8000 (INR 400,000 – 500,000). This handheld device will be primarily targeted for use in tier II towns and rural areas (tier III) to improve maternal and infant health rates by helping to diagnose any complications in real time.
“By proper screening during pregnancy, we can see improvement in the outcomes and avoid maternal or infant death during delivery,” says Mr. S. Ganesh Prasad, director, ultrasound imaging, GE Healthcare.
Doctors welcomed the medical device because of its usefulness and affordability.
Indian physicians responded well to the new product: Dr. Jitendra Sharma, head, division of healthcare technology, National Health System Resource Centre, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, opined that the idea of using handheld ultrasound devices clinically would be better than the currently available static ones that were also much more expensive.
Dr. Rakhee Gogoi, head of radiology, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon, said, “Our villages do not have many ultrasound machines in rural areas. Ultrasound is [a] very basic and important modality that can be used to detect any sort of pathology at a very early stage. Often, villagers come for the treatment when it’s too late for the problem till then the condition has gone out of hand.”
“The rural segment in India is the fastest growing market with 22-23 percent growth, and that is going to be our area of focus,” said Ganesh Prasad of GE Healthcare.