Healthymagination: Addressing the Middle East’s healthcare challenges
The Middle East healthcare sector is continuing to boom in the region. With that, healthymagination becomes a key action point as it is a commitment that supports the delivery of affordable, effective and quality healthcare.
A key component of healthymagination is its investment of US$3 billion in R&D, US$2 billion in financing and US$1 billion in technology and content over the next few years. The investment is being used to build a portfolio of more than 100 innovations designed to lower costs and improve healthcare access and quality.
One of the key issues of the healthcare industry in the region is being able to reduce costs of providing quality healthcare. According to estimates by independent agencies, healthcare costs in the Arab world are expected to grow five-fold by 2025, alongside the rapid rise in the incidence of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, stress and obesity. It is therefore extremely important that healthcare costs are managed for the benefit of the growing population.
To reduce the impact of technology on costs, GE is broadening the way it develops new products. In the coming years, GE will launch 50 low-cost products that offer powerful technology capabilities with simple operation and application targeted to achieve 15 percent lower cost, on average. These “only what is needed” innovative products will be tailored to areas where access to healthcare technology is limited.
Also part of healthymagination is the GE healthymagination Fund – an equity fund that will make investments in highly promising healthcare technology companies. The fund will invest in companies globally that have innovative diagnostic, IT, and life sciences technologies aligned with the strategic objectives of GE’s healthymagination initiative. It will target three broad areas for investment: broad-based diagnostics, healthcare information technology and life-sciences. This will have a critical bearing for the Middle East because the findings and developments in these three areas will significantly enhance healthcare delivery.
The Healthymagination Fund provides an opportunity to work with emerging companies to support their development. By providing access to the GE technology base and global presence, regional organizations can leverage this access to further sharpen and strengthen their R&D projects.
All in all, key goals of healthymagination are to grow GE’s business by accelerating the development and deployment of healthcare information technology and pushing high-tech products to more affordable price points, thereby increasing their adoption. Having said that, the healthcare industry in the Middle East has numerous challenges to overcome in achieving its goals to providing better healthcare.
On that note: What in your opinion is the most critical challenge of the healthcare industry in the Middle East? How can this challenge be addressed?