January 2008

India news

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ICICI Venture plans to float healthcare holding firm

ICICI Venture is planning to float a company that will buy medium-sized hospitals and pharmacy chains and act as a holding company for the fund's investments in the booming healthcare sector. Temporarily called I-Ven Medicare, the company will be the lead vehicle for all ICICI Venture's investments and buyouts in the healthcare space.

ICICI Venture is in talks with four hospitals in different parts of the country for a complete buyout. They are also examining proposals from other small and medium-sized hospitals across the country who need funds.

A CII-McKinsey study estimated that India will spend USD 45.6 billion on health in the next five years. ICICI Venture wants to build a healthcare platform that will control a variety of healthcare players. The company hopes to use its large balance sheet and size to buy equipment, help the hospitals raise money and hire doctors. The new company proposes to list itself on the stock exchanges in a few years.

AIIMS to provide air ambulance service

India's premier medical institute, AIIMS, is set to become the first government hospital in the country to get a helipad and start an air ambulance service to deliver urgent medical attention to critically ill patients. An application by AIIMS is being processed by the ministry of civil aviation and permission has been sought to construct a helipad.

Senior doctors say close to 50% of critical patients in India die on their way to hospital. Though the expense involved in airlifting patients will have to be underwritten and the service won't come cheap. Transferring a patient, say from Chandigarh to Delhi, could cost close to INR 1.5 lakh.

The helicopter ambulance will have paramedic staff and a doctor trained to handle critical patients. The staff on board and on the ground will be given special training on transporting patients in these choppers.

The service will be available at the AIIMS trauma centre which has been operational for the past 10 months though it is yet to be formally inaugurated. While some private hospitals across the country and in Delhi already have air ambulance service, AIIMS is the first government hospital in the country to provide the services.

Bangalore's Vitage Tech signs deal with TTK Healthcare

Bangalore based Vitage Technologies, a business service management company, has signed an agreement with TTK Healthcare Services Pvt Ltd, part of the TTK Group, to handle their IT operations as the managed services partner.

Vitage will be managing TTK's data centre, applications, network and the service desk on a 24×7 basis. Vitage will also provide direct support in Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi and 15 more locations across the country. Upgrading the IT infrastructure is expected to help TTK Healthcare improve its customer service through service efficiency. TTK Healthcare along with the Vitage team has already implemented some of the base processess and a centralized service desk as well as completed the knowledge transfer activities. The tie up is expected to upgrade TTKs IT process maturity and bring closer alignment of IT with business.

Nimhans, Mysore hospital connect for telemedicine

NIMHANS, Bangalore and Mysore based KR Hospital has established connectivity for their telemedcine project in collaboration with Larsen & Toubro Ltd in Bangalore. L&T has gifted telemedicine solutions and equipment worth INR 6 lakh to both the medical centres, as part of a private-public participation programme.

Initially, neurology and neuro-radiology departments of the KR Hospital will be linked with NIMHANS and later on neuro-psychiatry, cardiology and surgery depart-ments will also be linked. The telemedicine project will also upgrade teaching programmes and interaction between doctors, besides treating patients.

Thermo Fisher Scientific expands with new facility in India

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc, has set up a new USD 17 million facility in Ahmadabad, India, to support growing demand for biopharma services in that country. The facility will focus on packaging, global distribution and logistics management of tightly regulated pharmaceutical samples to patients participating in clinical trials across the globe. It will complement existing clinical services operations in the U.S., Europe and Asia. The company expects to open the new 100,000-square-foot facility by spring of 2008, and add approximately 100 employees in the first year of operation.

Thermo Fisher Scientific has taken significant steps over the past few years to increase its overall presence in India, adding sales and manufacturing facilities to support growing markets, including biopharma services and biospecimen storage, life sciences research and industrial processing.

The company recently acquired Qualigens Fine Chemicals, a former division of GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (GSK India) based in Mumbai. Qualigens is India's largest laboratory chemical manufacturer and supplier, serving customers in a variety of industries, including pharmaceutical, petrochemical, and food and beverage. Thermo Fisher also has a state-of-the-art demonstration laboratory in Mumbai that offers customers hands-on experience with its range of laboratory solutions.

Bangalore telemedicine co chosen 'technology pioneer' by WEF

Bangalore-based Neurosynaptics Communications Pvt. Ltd,  has received recognition with the World Economic Forum (WEF) for its ReMeDi (Remote Medical Diagnostics) range of products.

Neurosynaptic's product, a portable medical diagnostic kit the size of a boom box is priced at an estimated USD 300. The kit performs five key tests, including blood pressure, temperature, and even an electrocardiogram, and relays the information from rural settings to top city hospitals via computer. The cost per exam: anywhere from 38

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