Medical Diagnostics accounts for seventy per cent of all critical medical evaluations and procedures. Consequently, the average life expectancy of an Indian has increased from 52.5 years (1980) to 69.3 years (2020), thanks to accurate diagnostics and cutting-edge medical treatments. Hence, diagnostics has emerged as the first line of defence in healthcare. As a result, the Indian IVD market was estimated at USD 1240 million in 2019 and may record a CAGR of 7.5% to reach USD 2060 million by 2027.
India's IVD story exemplifies leadership and planning at several diagnostics and policy ecosystem levels. The Indian IVD industry quickly rose to the occasion during the corona pandemic. Driven by our extensive R&D, we were quick to develop highly potent test solutions across numerous technologies. This fast and effective action slowed the spread of Covid-19 in India. This mammoth-scale, point-of-care (POC) testing for COVID-19 added USD 9,000 million to the IVD market's value. Aspects like syringes, surgical gloves, masks, oxygen concentrators, and ventilators registered a multi-fold growth, decreasing and completely wiping out their dependency on foreign players.
India holds remarkable potential in the global IVD market and is considered the international centre for frugal medical device engineering. Moreover, India is among the leading exporters of IVD solutions worldwide. The opportunities, therefore, in this segment are tremendous.
The focus of the Indian MedTech companies has been on creating an innovation-driven ecosystem for resource-poor settings. The industry strives to develop tests and analyser platforms to address the need for precision, reliability, self-reliance, domestic production (self-reliant), affordability, and reaching closer to point-of-care.
The ingredients that are catalysing the growth of the Indian Medtech market are
● an increase in chronic diseases
● focus on point-of-care (POC) diagnostics by consumers
● the growing focus on preventive healthcare
● the fast development of the hub and spoke model within diagnostics ensures exceptionally large-scale automated regional diagnostic centres services by neighbourhood and mobile collection centres.
The Future Outlook
Diagnostics drive around 70% of all therapeutic decisions. Yet, the segment was neglected within the overall healthcare industry in the past. Domestic production accounts for only 20 %, and there is an 80 % dependency on imports.
Embracing technology will enable the IVD players to meet the country's future needs. Diagnostic services will become more personalised because of Genomics and Genetic testing. Technological advancements and related investments in a digital delivery platform for IVD tests will bridge the distance divide and bring the industry closer to clinicians and patients worldwide.
An encouraging regulatory ecosystem with the right incentives will see this space proliferate with faster technology adaptation, leading to lower costs and prices. In addition, incentives like the Government's PLI scheme for the medical devices manufacturing sector will boost domestic manufacturing output, improve the cost competitiveness of Indian devices in the global market, and reduce import bills.
As diagnostic laboratories embrace increased automation, they will become more time-efficient, reduce batch testing, and thus reduce overall TAT (turn-around time) between test and results. Biomarkers integration and availability of biomolecular tools will catalyse new opportunities for the IVD market by creating condition-specific tests. AI and ML will catalyse higher levels of diagnostic precision. AI will transform and disrupt the current workflow in the laboratory, patient diagnosis and treatment, and the role of the critical stakeholders: Healthcare Professionals, laboratory staff, and IVD manufacturers.
These will likely increase India's adoption and influence of the in-vitro diagnostics industry. Moreover, India's demand for IVDs will grow with time because of higher disposable incomes, better access to quality insurance, POC diagnostics, an ageing population due to higher life expectancy, an increase in lifestyle diseases, and most importantly, the growing acceptance of preventive care healthcare and monitoring.
The author, Jatin Mahajan, is the managing director of J Mitra and Company , a global leader in the in-vitro diagnostics industry. He is also an industry influencer and office bearer of various industry bodies – ASSOCHAM, Association of Diagnostics Manufacturers of India (ADMI), Global MedTech Advocacy and Advisory Forum (GMAAF), Association of Indian Medical Devices Industry (AIMED), Clinlab, Medical Fair India and the Delhi Management Association.