GE Healthcare unveils low-cost device for heart check-up

Bangalore, Nov 23 ( GE Healthcare, the $17-billion unit of General Electric, Monday unveiled a low-cost portable electrocardiogram (ECG) device for early detection of heart disease.

“Our new device (MAC-i) is priced at Rs.25,000 to enable hospitals and physicians charge patients as low as Rs.9 per ECG,” GE Healthcare’s South Asia chief executive V. Raja told reporters at a product demonstration here.

MAC-I is a spin-off of the company’s popular ECG device (MAC-400) that is priced at Rs.50,000 in the Indian market as against Rs.150,000 overseas.

“As part of our healthy imagination commitment, we will train physicians and paramedics in reading ECG reports. To promote and market the portable device, we have also tied up with State Bank of India to arrange finance at zero interest,” Raja said.

The software for the ECG device was developed at GE’s John F. Welch Technology Centre in this tech hub as had been MAC 400 earlier.

“Early detection is key to tackling heart disease. Shortage of experts, unavailability of affordable devices and high cost of treatment have been a big barrier in providing quality healthcare to majority of the people, especially in rural areas,” Raja said.

The company gifted the first ECG device to the non-governmental HelpAge India organisation to facilitate early cardiac detection in elderly patients in sub-urban areas.