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Nephelometry – The game changer technology

Tremendous strides are being made in the accessibility and quality of health technology globally by the real needy individuals. The in vitro diagnostic industry continues to drive growth in matured markets and emerging markets such as, India, specifically with specific protein analysis. The advent of advanced nephelometry technology for specific protein analysis is becoming more and more popular in the recent past, as it has been established to be a very effective tool to diagnose cancer, renal disorders, and life style and nutritional disorders. The true impact of technology can only be felt by understanding its impact on the way the healthcare is delivered. In addition to this, technological advancements such as automation, cartridge-form reagents system, and auto-calibration technology are major factors propelling the growth of specific protein analyzers in Indian IVD Market.

Cloud-based calibration process, online logs, alerts, and online service support are additional technology advancements, which will further change the way specific protein estimation is delivered In India. With the growing demand for nephelometry technology, the need for specific protein analysis will further be in demand.

Automation in nephelometry
A number of semi-automated nephelometers and fully automated specific protein analyzers are now commercially available for the performance of a variety of specific protein estimations. The available semi-automated platforms are compact units with small footprints, which require very small space in the laboratory and automated free-standing units with medium footprints, which require very less space, which breaks all the barriers of space constraints in large cities and small-sized laboratories.

The majority of the automated analyzers provide walk-away simplicity to perform assays from sample processing through, integrated circuit-card calibration, analysis, and quick reporting of results. Manufacturers of automated specific protein analyzers also provide better integrated software for capturing patient data and for monitoring the quality of the testing being performed. Most of the instruments can be interfaced with computer-based, hospital laboratory information systems (LIS and HIS) for seamless and accurate reporting and archival of results. The selection of automated instruments used depends primarily on the volume of specimens being tested and the number of individual tests to be performed in labs and hospitals.

In Indian market, nephelometry has spread out its wings to urban India. Semi-automated nephelometry systems were introduced in India in the last decade and became the game changer in the specific protein testing. It is estimated that approximately 3000 nephelometric analyzer units are installed in India annually, accounting to Rs. 30 crores and reagents contributing Rs. 96 crores annually. With increase in the number of parameters, these systems are gaining wide acceptance among the customers. In rural India, specific protein analysis is still considered as one of the major challenge due to various reasons, such as lack of product prescription, high cost of analyzers, increased cost per reportable test, and less workload.

Manufacturers believe that nephelometry technology will change the way healthcare is being delivered in rural India, especially by providing quality healthcare in the remotest part of rural India. Manufactures are focusing on user convenience, accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and speed of performance. There is a shift from standalone high-cost floor model systems toward highly affordable bench-top analyzers with very low recurring cost. Almost a decade ago, estimation of HbA1C was possible only in few mid- to big-size laboratories owing to the cost of the analyzers and workload. Today the same is possible in small-size laboratories with very low workload because of cost-effective bench-top specific-protein-estimation analyzers. It is commendable that such analyzers are researched, developed, manufactured, patented, and exported from India to several countries. Healthcare in India will always look for many more such technologies getting developed in India.

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