Editorial

From Dis-ease to Health-ease

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The International Diabetes Federation estimates that the number of diabetic patients in India has more than doubled from 19 million in 1995 to over 41 million. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD), cancer and stroke account for 53 percent of all deaths and 44 percent of disability-adjusted life years.

The truth is that the Indian population is starting to move from the cheaper to treat “infectious diseases” to the more complex and expensive “lifestyle diseases,” which often require greater diagnostic and therapy related interventions. Lifestyle diseases are set to assume a greater share of the healthcare market.

Diagnostic laboratory industry, which is estimated to be worth around 10,000 crore in India, is largely fragmented and unorganised. According to estimates, there are about 100,000 pathology laboratories in India, of which only 200 are accredited. But we see this industry consolidating over a period of another ten years. The health insurance industry will drive the growth. About 75 percent of our revenue comes from Indian market, while the remaining 25 percent revenue comes from international market.

ICT bridges the gaps by automating the entire process of testing – starting from the on-line patient booking to the registration of the sample and then finally getting the report digitally signed after analysis of the sample. Had the entire process been done manually, the possibilities of human error would have been much higher.

In this issue we are featuring stories on radiology and ultrasound. There have been dramatic advances in radiology in the past few decades. The modern imaging armamentarium includes multidetector row CT, MRI with a host of advanced sequences, PETCT, digital mammography, etc. While all segments in healthcare have benefited from such technologies, those that have seen the greatest beneficiaries are the sub-specialties, particularly neurology/ neurosurgery, oncology, orthopaedics and cardiology/cardiac surgery.

The cheapest diagnostic tool in the medical equipment industry is ultrasound. With booming population, and increased awareness about the portable ultrasound systems, there has been an increase in the misinterpretation of the Pre-Natal Diagnostics Techniques (PNDT) Act. The market today is witnessing increased competition and lack of awareness. Colour Doppler segment dominates the Indian ultrasound market. There is a 12.9 percent growth in revenues with 3D and 4D imaging in cardiology and radiology.

Then there is the section on tech trends in which we have focussed on some very interesting themes.

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