Global healthcare service provider GE Healthcare has announced the launch of its first healthcare accelerator, five.eight.

The idea behind this accelerator is to improve healthcare in developing countries. It will be focussed upon global health startups that strive to provide quality healthcare and accessibility for all in low-resource economies.

Initial applicants for GE Healthcare’s accelerator programme will be sourced from Acumen Fund, Aavishkaar, Unitus Seed Fund, and Villgro. The programme will enable these startups to commercially scale their products or integrate their services with GE’s Healthcare portfolio. Startups will also have a chance to secure potential funding of $5 Mn (INR 33 Cr) each, after reviews and collaboration.

Commenting on the development, John Flannery, President and CEO, GE Healthcare said, “Globally, it’s estimated that more than 5.8 Bn people in the world lack access to quality, affordable healthcare. We’ve had a continuous commitment to improving healthcare for those who need it most, but we know we cannot do it alone. 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.”

According to an official statement, five.eight will initially have at least 10 startups in its programme, with applications sourced from the four social impact investors, but not limited to them.

Bengaluru-based Tricog is the first startup to be selected in the accelerator programme.Tricog was founded in January 2015 by Dr. Charit Bhograj along with Dr. Zainul Charbiwala, Abhinav Gujjar, and Dr. Udayan Das. It aims to help preserve people’s lives through technology. Its solution includes installing a cloud-connected ECG machine in primary and secondary care medical centres – clinics, polyclinics, nursing homes, and hospitals. The collected information is then sent to a centrally-located hub for further analysis and a report is received through an SMS or a mobile app notification.

To date, Tricog has expanded to close to 250 clinics, nursing homes and hospitals in 12 cities and towns, both urban and rural. According to the company, almost 100K patients have been diagnosed since inception, over 5,000 of whom were found with acute heart conditions that required urgent intervention. It plans to expand to cover all major cities and towns during 2016-17.

In August 2016, it raised an undisclosed amount in Series A round of funding. The investment was led by Inventus Capital Partners, Blume Ventures, and a host of angel investors.

GE Healthcare and Tricog will join hands to scale Tricog’s solutions to a wider market reach globally. The startups selected in five.eight will also be able to access resources and connections with other GE global innovation centres in Helsinki, Cardiff, Istanbul, Calgary, Johannesburg, Dubai etc.

The programme is also looking to partner with global health startups academia, NGOs, and other healthcare providers as well, regardless of their locations.

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