L to R- Ms Terri Bresenham, president and CEO, GE Healthcare India, Ms Sumathi Velumani, director, Thyrocare, Dr A Velumani, founder and MD, NHL, Mr John Dineen, president and CEO, GE Healthcare
Nueclear Healthcare Ltd (NHL), the brainchild of Dr A Velumani, founder of Thyrocare Group, an industry leader, trend setter and innovators in Indian diagnostic industry, in association with GE Healthcare as technology partner announced the opening of its first molecular imaging centre for early, affordable cancer detection in Navi Mumbai.
The NHL network of molecular imaging centres will have 12 medical cyclotrons that produce bio-markers required for cancer imaging and 120 GE Discovery PET/CT imaging scanners. While the first centre is opened at Navi Mumbai, five more centres will be commissioned in 2013. GE Discovery PET/CT systems installed at the centre will help doctors determine whether a suspicious growth is cancerous or benign in a single exam. Previously, doctors had to put patients through two separate scans to get similar information - with limited success.
The release noted that NHL will establish a mega network of 120 molecular imaging centres around the country by 2015 with GE Healthcare as its technology partner. The hub and spoke model will help scale up affordable access to advanced molecular imaging technologies such as PET/CT required early detection of cancer. NHL proposes to offer PET/CT imaging at just Rs 10,000 compared to approximately Rs.18000- 25,000 patients pay today for same services.
Sharing his views, Dr A Velumani, founder and managing director of Nueclear Healthcare Ltd (NHL) Mumbai said, "Cost has been one of the biggest barriers in advancing early cancer detection. We have removed the barrier of cost by reducing the cost to patient by half. We are following the same concept which made Thyrocare a household name today. If we make detection and treatment affordable, more people will come forward and the sheer volume will take care of our capital investments. We have a great partner in GE Healthcare and our visions match - make India a healthier country."
Mr John Dineen, president and CEO, GE Healthcare, who inaugurated the center said, "At GE, we envision a day when cancer is no longer a deadly disease. Today's event reinforces our commitment to cancer and reflects our current integrated portfolio and GE Healthcare's $1billion R&D investment to advance oncology solutions by 2016. By partnering with Nueclear Healthcare Ltd (NHL) we can be at work for a healthier India by providing access to advanced affordable early cancer detection technologies to more people of India."
The cancer burden in developing countries is reaching pandemic proportions. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in India, with about 2.5 million cancer patients, 1 million added every year with a chance of rising five-fold by 2025 prompting Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) urging the Government of India to make cancer a notifiable disease. There is a high probability of treating Cancer if detected early - in stage I or stage II. However, over 70 percent of cancer is detected late at a very late stage in India, when treatment is less effective and costly. While low awareness is one significant reason, unavailability of early cancer detection facilities and availability of experts is the other significant reason.