The Indian diagnostics industry has been growing at a promising rate of 15-20 percent for the past few years, and the overall industry is estimated to be roughly around USD 10 billion, according to RedSeer. Following the COVID scenario, the diagnostics industry is going to become of paramount importance. Currently, the industry is highly fragmented, with a major portion of the lab market being dominated by the unorganized sector. However, it is expected that with newly introduced policies, increased government supervision, and a structured system in place, the number of illegal and unsupervised labs will also go down. For example, during the ongoing pandemic, the majority of people opted for door-step services, in order to avoid visiting a facility. Therefore, small and unregistered path labs that did not have the technology or resources to cater to these needs had to shut down.
The role of technology. Now when we are gradually emerging from the crisis, we believe 2021 would be the year of renewal, digital maturity, and innovation. There will be shifts across multiple dimensions, innovation and the use of advanced technology would continue to be amongst the top trends in India as well as across the globe. With the new norm, many pathologists are working remotely through digital pathology solutions to avoid challenges related to physically being in the labs/hospitals.
Also, in order to improve efficiency throughout the industry and make the patient experience as seamless as possible, fully automated systems will be adopted in the future, where the sample movement can be tracked in real-time. Whether it is helping them select the test, sample collection, report generation, status, and updates on their reports. There would be a special focus on the patients’ ease and convenience, translating into a boost in doorstep delivery of end-to-end diagnostic service. And we are making significant investments in technology for our patients.
Providing affordable and accessible high-end diagnostics to all has been a goal of ours from the start. While affordability has increased over the years, accessibility to quality diagnostics is still an issue. Therefore, making our services available in tier II and III towns is also going to be one of our key focus in the coming year, enabling diagnostics at the grass-root levels.
New year, new focus. Finally, on the research front, for many years now, we have been investing in structuring our data and integrating our processes to enable our scientific team to use the data for research purposes. This year we are looking to and set up an R&D facility which will not only help bring in-house testing kits but will also work on research focused on the scientific community. Our team is focused on some high impact projects in this area over the next few years.
Over the years, though we have maintained our deep expertise in oncology, we have also expanded our high-end diagnostics offerings to many other segments such as nephrology, gastroenterology, reproductive, and neurology. This year we look to invest in and expand our presence in these areas across the country.
Outlook. Diagnostics is viewed as a pivotal element of the healthcare system and with the ongoing pandemic; we can vouch that is more important than ever. While I am eternally thankful to our scientific community for developing the vaccine in record time, diagnostic testing will definitely continue to be a key focus in identifying and preventing infection. Moreover, increased focus on the healthcare system will ensure a bright future for the diagnostics industry in India. Meanwhile, we will continue to bring in advanced testing solutions to the country and maintain the spirit of innovation across the business.