What are your views on microbiology analysers and reagents market?
Reagents are one of the fastest moving and widely consumed products in microbiology as they are predominantly used in a wide range of analytical processes. Factors such as rise in number of government initiatives for the growth of industry and advancement in related technologies will have a tremendous impact on the growth of the microbiology reagents and analysers market.
In comparison to our global counterparts, we now have new technologies, automated solutions and molecular tests in microbiology lab, which has reduced the time needed to provide test results. Though, higher cost of these tests is a limiting factor in smaller hospitals, these are being extensively used in tertiary care hospitals providing quality care to the patients.
The Indian healthcare industry is expected to be a potential market in microbiology with high prevalence of infectious diseases, development of antimicrobial resistance, ageing of the population resulting in rising incidences of cardiac and other diseases and rapidly increasing awareness about disease diagnosis and prevention.In comparison to our global counterparts, we now have new technologies, automated solutions and molecular tests in microbiology lab, which has reduced the time needed to provide test results. Though, higher cost of these tests is a limiting factor in smaller hospitals, these are being extensively used in tertiary care hospitals providing quality care to the patients.
What is your take on the price sensitivity of the Indian market, and how does your hospital counter this problem?
The Indian market is very competitive and price sensitive market. Price is a major element but the quality of the services is the key. In our lab, we provide timely and high quality reports to the patients, which results in a greater inflow of samples. Also, our lab is accredited by National Accredi-tation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Provider (NABH) and JCI (Joint commission international) for quality standards, which assures the patients that our results are accurate and reliable.
How do you see the need for government regulation?
Despite the huge technological differences, diagnostics are still treated as drugs by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). There is an urgent need for a separate well-defined regulatory pathway and regulatory authority for diagnostic products. Investments, both in terms of time and money (in addition to regulatory guidelines), towards this sector by the Government of India will not just lead to a spurt in affordable new products, but also bolster the quality infrastructure in the country. Government should also look at the measures such as removing service tax, VAT and higher budget allocations to reduce the cost of equipment and consumables so as to make diagnostic services more affordable to the patients.
What are your views on emerging trends and new technologie?
Over the next few years, microbiology labs will see a significant transformation from discrete manual processes to fully automated systems, which includes pre-analytical phase of processing, gram staining, culture including automated blood culture systems, identification and sensitivity of microorganisms.
New molecular methods such as target amplification by different PCR’s, gene sequencing, pyrosequencing, reverse hybridisation, mass spectrometry and microarray analysis helps in fast and accurate identification of the causative pathogen as well as detection of associated resistance markers. MALDITOF MS (Matrix Associated Laser Desorption / Ionization-Time of Flight Mass spectroscopy) is an analytical method used for the detection of proteins and DNA molecules. Its application in clinical microbiology laboratory is as an alternative to traditional identification systems and Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISA’s) and is commercially available in India.
Point-of-care (POC) clinical microbiology also helps in real-time management of patients presenting with infectious disease emergency.
The world is on the brink of a paradigm shift in global health. The old paradigm, exemplified by HIV and malaria, is one in which the rich world comes up with solutions and pays for their delivery in the poor world. India can lead the new paradigm in which emerging economies will solve their own problems and in so doing become global leaders for change.