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IVD industry adorns India’s diagnostic transformation

In the past year-and-a-half, what has emerged clearly is the need for a renewed focus toward the improvement of overall health infrastructure, and to create accessibility and affordability of good-quality healthcare. This pandemic presented us with many areas for innovation and better management, which has led to proactive government policies and participation of businesses and academia alike
in R&D.

Focusing on the in vitro diagnostics industry, India, part of the three largest markets in Asia-Pacific along with China and Japan, is currently worth ₹75,000 crore market with nine players above an annual revenue of ₹100 crore. While pathology holds nearly 55 percent of the market, the industry has experienced a growth of 25 percent in preventive testing. Factors fueling such tremendous growth are increasing disposable incomes, growing cases of chronic diseases like diabetes (a shared feature of developing and developed countries), rising cases of cancer in all age groups (expected to reach 1.9 million by 2040 by IARC), adoption of preventive healthcare, increase in the number of organized corporate businesses in this industry, and several technological innovations, which make tracking one’s health more effortless than ever before.

This industry took center stage during COVID-19 as testing was one of the main levers to control and curb the spread of the virus, which allowed the industry to contribute like never before. Other than a massive opportunity for the key players to fuel their research on technological advancements, the need to stay relevant and provide rapid, accurate, and reliable results became prevalent.

On a personal note, being one of the frontline warriors in the country’s fight against the virus, we at Suburban Diagnostics felt like fulfilling our purpose and destiny. We invested in the molecular diagnostics segment a few years ago, which saw a significant trigger after the outbreak of COVID-19, and is expected to grow at 7.12 percent CAGR between 2020 and 2025. This foresight kept us relevant, and enabled us to play our part as a diagnostics business that has thrived toward unburdening healthcare.

So that is what we plan to keep up; investing in technology keeps us pertinent for the country’s future needs. The role of technology in building better accessibility, better testing capabilities, at a better turnaround time will be the focus for us. Discoveries like genomics and genetic testing will make our services more personalized to the needs of our customers, and technological advancements and investments in a digital platform for in-vitro tests will make us more accessible to clinicians and patients globally. Fields like point-of-care (POC) diagnostics and companion diagnostics, which lead to better-targeted therapies and hence, better health outcomes, are also an interest we are exploring.

Externalities like home healthcare services that came in perspective due to safety and social-distancing needs also open up opportunities for us to serve better. Leveraging technology to consolidate lab and testing services, and improving the logistics and supply chain, will help us harness those opportunities. Investments for maintaining quality standards and upgrading the skills and knowledge of our staff has always been a perpetual process for us, which will also see heightened activity and enhanced skill sets, given the technological advances.

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