In the healthcare sector, technology and capacity work together to save lives and strengthen systems. GE has a long history of investing in both.
At the recent World Health Assembly, GE hosted a roundtable event to discuss future policy initiatives in healthcare and assess the technologies, models and solutions required to deliver better health outcomes. The company has committed a cumulative $6 billion to continually develop and invest in innovations that deliver high-quality, affordable healthcare to more people around the world.
Several initiatives are underway to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health, as this remains one of the most pressing priorities facing Africa. Every day, nearly 800 women across the globe die due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth, with most of these deaths occurring in developing countries.
Yet according to the World Bank, more than 74 per cent of maternal deaths could be prevented if all women had access to interventions that address complications in pregnancy and childbirth. Early diagnoses and a stronger primary care sector are critical in saving these lives. As a result, governments and their partners, such as GE, are looking at ways of building healthcare capacity and promoting appropriate training interventions.
Recognising the need for technology that is both affordable and appropriate, GE developed the Vscan Access, a portable ultrasound device specifically designed for maternal health in low-resource settings. Ultrasound technology helps midwives, doctors and clinical officers to better diagnose and monitor expectant mothers among others. With Vscan Access, medical officers can share results with experts working remotely, helping to improve treatment and care levels.
GE has long partnered with ministries of health and NGOs to support improved health outcomes and build sustainable healthcare systems. In Kenya, GE was recently appointed to deliver a radiology infrastructure modernisation programmein 98 hospitals, across 47 counties as the government seeks to radically transform healthcare. In Ethiopia, GE is working alongside the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon initiative, providing advisory and technical support systems as the country’s first state-of-the-art cancer centre is developed. This is just part of its $500,000 commitment to improving cancer care in Ethiopia.
Technology alone is not enough. Sustainable healthcare requires investment in training and education, in order to build capacity at the front line of healthcare. Capacity building and training programmes was key to the successful deployment of a CT scanner at Panzi Hospital, close to Bukavu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. GE is honoured to be part of the ground-breaking team at Panzi Hospital, having provided technical input for the scanner’s installation and technical training for local staff. GE will be responsible for ongoing maintenance of the scanner.
The World Health Assembly saw GE reaffirming its commitment to healthcare around the world. GE is committed to innovations which best serve the needs of customers wherever they are, in both high and low resource settings.