GE Healthcare continues to build on the work that it has done in India. If you would recall, we had covered the launch of the portable CT Scan and the low cost infant warmer from GE Healthcare earlier. Yesterday GE Healthcare launched Five.Eight , a Healthcare accelerator for Startups in India.
The accelerator is also open to partnerships with global health startups directly, or other players within the global health ecosystem, including academia, NGOs or other healthcare providers. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact five.eight; applicants will be evaluated and accepted on a rolling basis. The accelerator is open to all global health startups, regardless of location
Now this is exciting news for the healthcare startups in India, as joining ‘five.eight’ would give them access to the entire ecosystem of GE Networks, including, NGO’s, other accelerators, innovators and key GE locations across the world.
The name five.eight is interesting and it estimated that almost 5.8 billion people across the world have no access to healthcare. Hence the name five.eight. The focus therefore is on high quality but low cost solutions for the developing economies like India. Each startup that qualifies would receive investment of about $5 Million and then ongoing funding would be made available on a ongoing basis based on regular evaluation of the progress made.
Portfolio companies from four social impact investors: Acumen, Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group, Unitus Seed Fund and Villgro, will be among the initial applicants for the first accelerator program. The products developed by the startups would be then distributed on the strength of the GE Health distribution network or incorporated into the GE affordable Care Portfolio.
“Globally, it’s estimated that more than 5.8 billion people in the world lack access to quality, affordable healthcare,” said John Flannery, President & CEO of GE Healthcare. “We’ve had a continuous commitment to improving healthcare for those who need it most, but we know we cannot do it alone. Through five.eight, our goal is to fuel the greater global health ecosystem, partnering with social impact investors and global health startups, in order to maximize impact and outcomes for populations with the greatest need.”
Five.eight aims to welcome at least 10 startups in its initial program, with applicants sourced from the four social impact investors, but not limited to these portfolio companies.
The first company signed on to join five.eight is Tricog, a Bangalore-based startup focused on improving survival rates of heart attacks in India by decreasing the average time between symptoms and treatment. Using cloud-connected ECG devices in medical centers, 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 significant mortality reduction. As the first startup in five.eight, GE Healthcare and Tricog will collaborate on scaling Tricog’s solution to more markets globally.
In my opinion this is going to be a great opportunity for the Startups and GE Healthcare
- Ge Healthcare can benefit from low cost innovation as they continue to serve markets in the developing regions. Sometimes it is difficult to innovate as a large company and investing in a few startups can solve that problem.
- The Startups would benefit from the investment but also from the expertise an the infrastructure that a company like GE Healthcare would be providing. A good example is access to IoT platforms like Predix to enable connected healthcare
- Finally the distribution and the product portfolio of GE will ensure that meaningful solutions will see the light of day and the number of 5.8 billion will come down significantly.
So this is a win-win-win for Startups, GE Healthcare and the sections of societies that don’t have access to healthcare. It will be exciting to follow the progress of five.eight and hopefully we will hear of others from Bangalore and the rest of India that have joined the accelerator.