GE Healthcare, the USD 18-billion healthcare technology unit of GE, has announced USD 50-million funding aimed at improving services of healthcare startups in developing countries.
GE Healthcare has set up an accelerator - five.eight -that will work with global health startups in areas of disruptive, low-cost technologies and digital applications, which will improve healthcare quality and accessibility in developing or low-resource settings.
Five.eight aims to get at least 10 startups in its initial programme, with applicants sourced from four social impact investors but not limited to these portfolio companies, it said in a statement.
The four social impact investors include Acumen, Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group, Unitus Seed Fund and Villgro.
Through the programme, GE Healthcare and each startup will focus on commercially scaling healthcare innovations for emerging economies, with the potential for GE Healthcare distributing the startup’s product or integration of the service into GE Healthcare’s Affordable Care Portfolio.
“In addition, potential funding of up to USD 5 million per startup will be evaluated on a case by case basis as the collaboration between GE Healthcare and each startup evolves,” it said.
GE Healthcare President and CEO John Flannery said it is estimated that more than 5.8 billion people in the world lack access to quality, affordable healthcare.
“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 maximise impact and outcomes for populations with the greatest need,” he added.
The first company to join GE Healthcare’s programme is Bengaluru—based Tricog that focusses on improving survival rates of heart attacks in India.
Using cloud-connected ECG devices in medical centres, it 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.
GE Healthcare and Tricog will collaborate on scaling latter’s solution to more markets globally, it said.
Five.eight is part of GE’s Innovation Network that is a group of global, connected ecosystem of accelerators, startups, and innovators working on technologies that disrupt and grow markets through digital transformation.
The startups joining five.eight will have access to Innovation Network’s programming and resources as well as connectivity to other GE global innovation centres in Helsinki, Cardiff, Istanbul, Calgary, Johannesburg and Dubai.