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NITI Aayog calls on MedTech industry to explore tech for global leadership

Domestic medical devices industry should come up with cutting-edge technologies to gain leadership across global markets, NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr VK Paul said on Thursday.

Speaking at an event here, he also asked the industry to initiate ways to tap AI for their respective medical devices. Paul noted that the government has already taken a lot of steps in policy terms and now it is the turn of the industry to move ahead.

“We believe that we need frugal innovation, but we also strongly believe that India must do cutting-edge innovations…for our leadership in industry, for our leadership in the world,” Paul said.

The industry needs to address the cutting edge, breakthroughs, he said, adding that nothing much has been achieved after technologies like MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging).

“That means the space is open for us to catch up and leapfrog in the direction of new ideas, new solutions, and disruptive technologies that should emanate from India,” Paul added.

He noted that the policy landscape has really changed in the last 5-6 years and the government actively supports the sector through initiatives like PLI schemes, policy changes, and Make in India.

He noted that the life expectancy is expected to go up to 85 years by 2047 as against 71 years currently and the contribution of the medical devices sector will be critical in making that happen.

The focus should be on addressing specific needs like affordable diagnostics and affordable point of care, Paul said.

He said that since AI is in its initial phase currently, it would be easier for the industry to catch up with the emerging vertical.

“We are in the initial phase of AI and we can catch this genie now…Please use this for devices and for many other reasons for which it can be used. We must build capacity and capability to harness this technology in a controlled and ethical manner,” Paul said.

The market size of the Indian medical devices sector is likely to reach USD 50 billion by 2030 from the current USD 11 billion. PTI

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