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Cost-effective Technologies Needed

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Dr Th. Dhabali Singh, Managing Director & Sr Consultant Pathologist, Babina Diagnostics, Imphal

Increasing competition makes laboratories to lookout for cost-cutting technologies and superior products to deliver good quality and faster results, says Dr Th. Dhabali Singh, Managing Director & Sr Consultant Pathologist, Babina Diagnostics, Imphal, in conversation with Anshuman Ojha of Elets News Network

What is the market size and rate of growth of the IVD market?

With a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.1 per cent during the period, the IVD has emerged as one of the fastest growing markets in the Indian healthcare industry. The Indian In vitro Diagnostics (IVD) market is poised to grow from US$ 331.7 million in 2009 to US$ 900.2 million in the year 2016. This kind of healthy growth rate can be attributed to the rapid growth of many diagnostic laboratory chains, improvement in corporate hospital infrastructure, and the use of automated and semi-automated equipment on a large scale. Currently, the ratio of the market share of equipment and reagents is estimated to be 40:60.

What recent trends have documented in the IVD market?

A large portion of the Indian IVD market comprises of professional diagnostics, which includes clinical chemistry, haematology, immunoassays, microbiology, histopathology and cytology. However, point-of-care (POC) diagnostics, molecular diagnostics and tissue diagnostics like immunohistochemistry (IHC) and in situ hybridisation (ISH) segments have seen significant growth following the global trend.

What has evolved in the IVD application market?

One of the most interesting developments is the biochip-based in vitro diagnostics. Biochip facilitates an assortment of multiple tests on a single chip, which brings in an increased efficiency in testing. Some interesting applications envisioned include a wide range of DNA applications, biosensors, microfluidics-based systems, proteomics, cancer diagnostics and gene expression profiling.

How did the IVD industry perfom this year?

The IVD market continues to grow as expected. With increasing competition, laboratories are on the lookout for cost-cutting technologies and superior products to deliver good quality and faster results. The reagent rental system ensures that labs do not incur heavy capital expenditure and the vendors are also assured of sales of reagents for the lease period. An area of concern is the after-sales service. There is a need for wide network of regional sub-distributors to provide better after-sales service. For smaller laboratories or for those in smaller markets, the vendors ought to come up with reagents in smaller pack sizes.

Which types of technologies and products do you see as being the most successful in this new IVD environment?

In the new IVD environment, immunochemistry, point-of-care (POC) testing, molecular diagnostics, tissue diagnostics, self-monitoring blood glucose systems and haematology are seen to be successful.

Over the years, the trends you have seen in IVD industry?

Despite the huge Indian IVD market, domestic players have traditionally shied away from foraying into the market in a big way. This has been somewhat surprising. We believe this mind-set needs to change because there is a real need to offer cost-effective alternatives. The present technologies need lots of customisation as per local needs, local technical support and infrastructure.

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