Dr Vijay Parekh
Scientific Advisor- R&D Equipment
Agappe Diagnostics Ltd.

Hematology Analysis, Technological Advancements and Emerging Trends in India

Indian healthcare has undergone rapid transformation toward global sophistication and is already a preferred medical destination for patients from neighbouring countries. As an important part of Indian in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) sector, hematology analysis has also grown. Though large number of blood samples are analysed on automated hematology analyzers, many times more are still tested using microscope. What has still not changed, however, is Why blood counts are performed?

With evolving technologies, hematology analyzer data has become highly precise, objective and reliable. It has removed drudgery of microscopic techniques. Today more doctors ask What is wrong with the patient? instead of wondering What is wrong with the result?

Technologies that ushered such paradigm shift are electrical impedance, optical cell counting, laser light scatter, fluorescent staining, flow cytometry using monoclonal antibodies etc. However, detecting all WBC abnormalities is arguably the last bastion still to be conquered, primarily because new technologies can still not match the accuracy of expert morphologists, which is a fast decreasing tribe. This has led to development of automated image analysers which capture high resolution images, use high speed computing and sophisticated self-learning algorithms to reduce reliance on traditional morphology based white cell differentials. This trend will continue till alternate means are established for reliable diagnosis.

Though Indian IVD has moved closer to global sophistication. almost 80 percent of hematology analyzer installations in India are 3-part WBC differential analyzers (3-PDA) and imported, without exception. Over last two decades, several Indian IVD manufacturers began producing diluents and lysing reagents ensuring lower costs and easy availability. Continued reliance on imports prevents penetration of automated hematology analyzers to rural patients, discourages even high volume urban end-users from regularly using blood controls and calibrators as they are perishable with uncertain availability and high costs. Obviously this can not continue in India which boasts global capabilities in many technology areas. Several Indian IVD manufactures have progressed rapidly towards indigenous manufacture of equipment and reagents and by acquiring IVD companies abroad.

Though it is more difficult to miss an abnormal result today than ever, it is also true that effective use of data from hematology analyzers has still not reached majority of patients and rural populations remain underserved. To address this, Agappe Diagnostics Ltd. seized initiative over other IVD manufactures by launching the first indigenously developed automated 3-PDA hematology analyzer along with required consumables.

This is in the silver jubilee year and justifies Agappe’s commitment to use

Surging innovation, Serving mankind

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