GE Healthcare to invest $50 m in India-made PET-CT scanner

Written by fe Bureau | Hyderabad | Updated: Jun 30 2010, 07:21am hrs
GE Healthcare is investing $50 million in its India R&D centre for designing advanced scan systems. The first indigenous PET-CT (positron emission tomography computed tomography) scan is expected to be launched in three years. The company might export the scanner to emerging markets.

V Raja, president and CEO, GE Healthcare, South Asia and MD, Wipro GE Healthcare, said that a new platform would be designed to manufacture the device. A team would be put in place and it is expected to be more cost-effective than the existing PET-CT scanner which costs about $2 million.

We are hoping it to be 30-40% less expensive than the cost at present, if it is designed specially for the Indian markets, he said. There are 50 PET-CTs in the country. Of these 35 are GE Discovery Systems.

The company along with Hyderabad-based Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) and Varian Medical Systems, has signed a a cooperative working relationship to jointly address the growing oncology needs in rural India.

Under the cooperative relationship, KIMS plans to establish 10 oncology centers with an investment of Rs 200 crore to acquire latest technology for these centres.

These centres are targeted for Vijayawada and Visakhapatanam in Andhra Pradesh, Bhubaneshwar in Orissa, Thrissur in Kerala, Pune andNagpur in Maharashtra; Raipur and Indore in Madhyapradesh; Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu and Patna, Bihar.

According to Raja, each unit would cost about $7 million and GE Healthcare would act as technology advisor and financing partner.

The centers are expected to be functional by June 2011 and will also be capable of providing diagnostic services.