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GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Company (GE - Analyst Report), recently formed a strategic partnership with Cancer Treatment Services International (CTSI) to launch a chain of 25 cancer care centres in India. Over a period of five years, the two companies will jointly invest $120 million to set up these centres.

The Project

The centers will offer state-of-the-art technology for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer at affordable prices, replicating the standards of care found at the world's leading cancer hospitals.

The cancer care centers will come up across the state of Andhra Pradesh and will progressively expand throughout the country. Per the agreement, GE Healthcare will supply the equipment while CTSI would be responsible for management of medical personnel, treatment and other ancillary services.

Following a hub-and-spoke model, each center will be linked to a hub through a sophisticated information technology network supported by a transnational team of doctors and administrators. The hub will provide diagnostic imaging and treatment capabilities, while each center will deliver a range of screening, staging and treatment alternatives.
    
CTSI offers comprehensive clinical and administrative solutions for treatment of terminal diseases. It presently operates four cancer hospitals in the U.S., making high-quality cancer care accessible at affordable prices. Its healthcare delivery model has proven to be successful in the U.S. and it plans to replicate the success in countries like India, where cancer treatment is still relatively inaccessible and costly.

Indian Demographics

Currently, India reportedly has at least three million cancer patients, with an addition of 1.23 million new cases every year. As per GE Healthcare estimates, three patients perish in every two minutes due to this deadly disease. The high mortality rates are primarily due to late detection, lack of access to advanced healthcare facilities and high costs related to treatments.

With cancer cases increasing sharply, healthcare infrastructure in India is often perceived to be insufficient and inaccessible to most. The key objective of the CTSI-GE Healthcare initiative is to detect cancer at an early stage in patients, thus making treatment more viable by minimizing expensive later-stage treatment costs. It also intends to provide medical access to patients living in remote parts of the country.

GE Healthcare’s Initiative

The partnership is a part of General Electric’s $1 billion commitment to Research and Development in order to diagnose cancer. GE Healthcare is developing low-cost diagnostic technologies in India for a range of other deadly diseases. Recently, it also launched a low-cost version of PET-CT which is widely used to find cancerous tumors.

General Electric currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the industry that look promising include Federal Signal Corp. (FSS - Snapshot Report), Noble Group Limited (NOBGY) and Sumitomo Corporation (SSUMY). All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
 

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