GE Healthcare to fund health start-ups

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Bengaluru, Sep 23 (IANS) GE Healthcare on Friday announced funding global health start-ups to improve healthcare outcomes in developing economies.

“Through our new accelerator — five.eight, we will initially fund 10 startups with $5 million (Rs 33.5 crore) seed capital for each,” said the $18-billion healthcare division of the US-based GE (General Electric) in a statement here.

The start-ups for funding will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, with applicants sourced from the four social impact investors, but not limited to portfolio firms.

Portfolio companies Acumen, Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group, Unitus Seed Fund and Villgro will be among the initial applicants for the first accelerator programme.

“Each startup will focus on scaling healthcare innovations for emerging economies, with the potential for distribution of their product or integration of their service into our affordable care portfolio,” said the healthcare behemoth in a statement here.

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The accelerator will target global health startups to improve healthcare quality and accessibility in developing or low-resource settings – from education and training to disruptive, low-cost technologies and digital applications.

“It’s estimated that around 5.8 billion people across the world lack access to quality, affordable healthcare,” said GE Healthcare Chief Executive John Flannery on the occasion.

Admitting that the company alone cannot improve healthcare of those who need it most, Flannery said the goal of its accelerator (five.eight) was to fuel the global health ecosystem by partnering with social impact investors and health start-ups.

Bengaluru-based Tricog is the first startup to join five.eight accelerator. It focus on improving survival rates of heart attacks by decreasing the time between symptoms and treatment.

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“Using cloud-connected ECG devices in medical centres, Tricog helps doctors diagnose a patient within minutes of their arrival at a clinic, improving access to quick, accurate and affordable diagnosis, which can lead to mortality reduction,” asserted the statement.

The global firm will collaborate with Tricog to scale its solution to global markets.

Five.eight joins GE’s Innovation Network – a global, connected ecosystem of accelerators, startups, and innovators working on technologies that disrupt and grow markets through digital transformation.

“Startups joining five.eight will have access to our programming, resources and connectivity to our other innovation centres in Helsinki, Cardiff, Istanbul, Calgary, Johannesburg and Dubai,a noted the statement.A

“Collaborating with investors allows us to work with entrepreneurs who have promising technologies to extend our portfolio of affordable solutions,” said company’s sustainable healthcare solutions President Terri Bresenham.

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The sustainable healthcare solutions develop affordable care portfolio of high-value, low-cost technologies and healthcare delivery solutions for emerging markets.

“Our goal is to define the next generation of care delivery technologies that can deliver impact where it matters,” added Bresenham.



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