GE Healthcare, the $18 billion healthcare technology division of GE, launched the company’s first healthcare accelerator, five.eight, aimed at improving healthcare outcomes for the world’s developing economies. The accelerator will target global health startups with a vision to improve healthcare quality and accessibility in developing or low-resource settings—from education and training to disruptive, low-cost technologies and digital applications.
Portfolio companies from four social impact investors: Acumen, Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group, Unitus Seed Fund and Villgro, will be among the initial applicants for the first accelerator program. Through the program, GE Healthcare and each startup will focus on commercially scaling healthcare innovations for emerging economies, with the potential for GE Healthcare distribution of the startup product, or integration of the service into GE Healthcare’s Affordable Care Portfolio. In addition, potential funding of up to $5 million/per startup will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis as the collaboration between GE Healthcare and each startup evolves.
“Globally, it’s estimated that more than 5.8 billion people in the world lack access to quality, affordable healthcare,” said John Flannery, president and CEO of GE 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 maximize impact and outcomes for populations with the greatest need.”
“Collaborating with investors allows us to work with some extraordinary entrepreneurs that have promising technologies to extend our portfolio of affordable solutions,” said Terri Bresenham, president and CEO of GE Healthcare’s Sustainable Healthcare Solutions, which develops the company’s affordable care portfolio of high-value, low-cost technologies and healthcare delivery solutions for emerging markets. “Our goal is to define the next generation of care delivery technologies that can deliver impact where it matters.”
Five.eight aims to welcome at least 10 startups in its initial program, with applicants sourced from the four social impact investors, but not limited to these portfolio companies.
The first company signed on to join five.eight is Tricog, a Bangalore-based startup focused on improving survival rates of heart attacks in India by decreasing the average time between symptoms and treatment. Using cloud-connected ECG devices in medical centers, Tricog helps doctors diagnose a patient within minutes of their arrival at a clinic, improving access to quick, accurate and affordable diagnosis, which can lead to significant mortality reduction. As the first startup in five.eight, GE Healthcare and Tricog will collaborate on scaling Tricog’s solution to more markets globally.
Five.eight joins GE’s Innovation Network—a global, connected ecosystem of accelerators, startups and innovators working on technologies that disrupt and grow markets through digital transformation. The startups joining five.eight will now have access to Innovation Network programming and resources as well as connectivity to other GE global innovation centers in Helsinki, Cardiff, Istanbul, Calgary, Johannesburg, Dubai and more.
The Accelerator is also open to partnerships with global health startups directly, or other players within the global health ecosystem, including academia, NGOs or other healthcare providers. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact five.eight; applicants will be evaluated and accepted on a rolling basis. The accelerator is open to all global health startups, regardless of location.