by Lynn Shapiro
, Writer | February 11, 2009
GE Healthcare is launching India's first affordable, digital flat panel X-ray system, called "Tejas DR-F."
On average citizens in India undergo one medical x-ray examination annually. However, X-ray systems currently available in India are low-powered, bulky and employ very old technology compromising image quality and radiation dose, Brian McKaig, GE Healthcare's public relations director, says.
Both developed and emerging countries have phased out the dated 2-pulse x-ray technology, which is still extensively used in India. Now that GE has launched its system in the growing Indian market, Indian health care professionals can look forward to true digital technology instead of looking for interim solutions that only look digital, and can potentially create more radiation hazard, McKaig says.
GE is able to make an affordable, high-end system available to Indian customers by manufacturing the equipment locally; the company has rolled out a series of value products under the "In India, for India" program. The Tejas DR-F will be manufactured in Bangalore at a cost of 40% less than imported digital x-ray systems.
Speaking about the growing healthcare market, Mr. V Raja, President and CEO, GE Healthcare South Asia, said, "Tejas DR-F is our new year's gift to support the safety of the large Indian population and technology deprived Indian healthcare professionals. Last year we launched the Tejas XR 6000, the only analog (film) X-ray upgradeable to digital manufactured in India. Today, we introduce Tejas DR-F, the only true digital X-ray system manufactured in India, with a truly Indian price-tag. Tejas DR-F has been designed keeping in mind the needs of the clinician, radiographer and patient. This is in line with our vision of 'Early Health' and we will continuously endeavour to bring in affordable solutions to fill in the technology gap in India."
Digital images allow fast and efficient exam procedures, eliminating time spent in handling film and cassettes. All in all, McKaig says, the digital X-ray allows the exam time to be slashed by 10 times allowing more patient exams and reducing the radiation dose by 30 percent compared to conventional X-ray.
GE revolutionized the global X-ray market by introducing the first digital X-ray in 1999. GE invested over US$500 million in developing its proprietary flat panel digital X-ray technology and the company has been granted more than 100 US patents. The technology is extended to multiple applications like cath-labs, mammography systems and a number of radiography X-ray applications. GE is one of the very few manufacturers in the world to manufacture digital detectors; over 10,000+ digital systems are in use globally, GE's McKaig says.