The CEO of GE division for healthcare, John Dineen, gave a very interesting keynote speech at the recent World Innovation Summit for Healthcare in Qatar. You can see the videorecording at the WISH website.
Among his observations were that GE traditionally has focused on taking their devices to the next level technically. But now they need to be as concerned about bringing costs down and making their products accessable in emerging markets. The coming years will be about Quality, cost and access, Dineen said. He also said that GE needs to be both clinically and economically relevant.
An example of a lower cost product from GE is a new orthopaedic MR scanner, which only scans limbs, so patients are not completely inserted in the scanner. It’s much more compact, less intimidating to the patients, and the price is $500.000 – rather than $2 million for a full blown MR scanner.
Another example is the smartphone sized V-scan, a battery driven, handheld and extremely easy to operate scanner, which sells for around 8.000 euros. It’s sold to doctors that do house calls in Japan, as well as to midwives working in African villages.
John Dineen observed, that selling to emerging markets means that GE needs to change their business model from simply selling devices, to taking part in creating an entire local eco-system of trained personal, maintenance, electrical charging etc.