New Delhi: Max Healthcare, a leading healthcare services provider, and GE Healthcare, the medical technology unit of General Electric Company, on Wednesday announced a strategic partnership to advance the standard of cancer care in India through collaborative research and co-creation of futuristic, multifaceted cancer management solutions.
An MoU was signed to this effect by Dr Ajay Bakshi, MD and CEO, Max Healthcare and Terri Bresenham, President and CEO, GE Healthcare South Asia, in the presence of Analjit Singh, chairman, Max India Group; John Dineen, President and CEO, GE Healthcare; Rahul Khosla, Managing Director, Max India; Banmali Agrawala, President and CEO, GE South Asia; and Dr Harit Chaturvedi, Chairman, Oncology, Max Healthcare.
Under the deal, a Centre of Excellence for Cancer in India would be created at Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, New Delhi. The Centre will be equipped with the latest technology solutions like medical imaging, molecular diagnostics, healthcare IT solutions to integrate data, processes etc.
The partnership will also involve collaborative research on cancer care and co-creation of technology solutions; improved access to quality cancer care through Healthcare IT Solutions; Decision Support System like virtual tumour board to virtually surround a patient with multi-disciplinary expertise; development of innovative cancer specific treatment pathways and protocols to make diagnosis and treatment more efficient; and setting up an Oncology Training Institute to advance existing skill set on clinical care and to build a larger pool of talent, according to a joint statement.
Dr Ajay Bakshi, MD & CEO, Max Healthcare, said, “There is an alarming increase in the incidence of cancer in India. Inadequate screening and a severe shortage of oncologists and other trained staff further compound the problem. With advanced healthcare infrastructure and the availability of one of the largest pools of clinical talent in the country, comprising of 45 oncologists and 220 trained oncology support staff, Max Healthcare is uniquely positioned to partner with GE Healthcare to set new standards for cancer care by innovating on clinical protocols, technology and systems.”
“At GE, we envision a day when Cancer is no longer a deadly disease. When the disease is as complex and multi-faceted as cancer, solutions need to be equally multi-faceted and even more integrated, combining medical imaging, molecular imaging, healthcare IT and cellular technologies. With technology advances, we can see diseases as we have never seen before and provide most personalized treatment eliminating non-responding treatment protocols. Through this partnership with Max Healthcare, we aim to understand the fingerprint of specific cancers in India and co-develop disruptive solutions,” said John Dineen, President & CEO, GE Healthcare.
Dr Harit Chaturvedi, Chairman – Oncology, Max Healthcare, said, “At Max Cancer Centre, we receive around 10,000 patients every year and the numbers are increasing by the day. With this collaboration with GE Healthcare, we aim to bring together clinical and basic research to find new solutions to cancer. The virtual tumour board will enable experts from different geographies and time zones to review each case of cancer and propose specific solutions for patients.”
The incidence of cancer is sharply rising in India with a prevalence of 3 million and annual new addition of 1.23 million cases. The mortality rates are very high due to late detection, access and affordability to care. India has highest rates of cervical, gall bladder, oral and pharynx cancers. Breast cancer is the second largest cancer among women in India.
As per a GE commissioned study, 70-80 per cent of cancer patients are diagnosed late which renders any form of treatment less effective. The need of the hour is to improve awareness leading to more early diagnosis, improve access to diagnosis and treatment as well as significantly improve the treatment protocols and care pathways to enhance quality of outcome – survival and leading a healthier life, according to the statement.
“Every two minutes India loses three people to cancer. Two new people are detected with cancer every minute in India. It is a ticking bomb. We can save many of these lives with early detection and precise treatment. The partnership with Max Healthcare reflects our shared commitment in tackling the deadly disease early and with precision,” said Terri Bresenham, President and CEO, GE Healthcare South Asia.
“We hope to learn much more about each type of cancer and their cellular behaviour and develop solutions through this collaboration,” she added.