The Indian healthcare sector has emerged as one of the country’s most lucrative sectors with respect to the employment generated as well as revenue for the country. Advancement in the healthcare sector has yielded huge success in the treatment and elimination of certain illnesses and diseases in India. Over the years, the healthcare industry has witnessed the development of several medical devices that aid both patients and the medical professionals in providing efficient health care services. The sector has been recognized as the “Sunshine Sector” under the Make in undertaken by the Indian government in the year 2014. The main objectives of this initiative are to promote and increase foreign direct investment (FDI) and domestic investment in manufacturing of medical devices in India.
Different segments of the Medical Devices Industry in India
• Consumables and disposables: Medical consumables and disposable comprise needles, staples, packaging, medical gloves, sutures, tubing, syringes, catheters, medical gloves, gowns, adhesives, masks, and sealants for wound dressing and other instruments and tools used within a hospital or surgical environment.
• I-V Diagnostic medical device: These devices can be used for the in-vitro examination of specimens derived from the human body solely to provide information for diagnostic, monitoring or compatibility purposes.
• Diagnostic Imaging: Doctors typically use imaging to look into your body for hints about a medical state. Different techniques and machines can produce pictures of the activities inside your body. Imaging helps doctor to identify your sickness or the part of the body that causes the sickness. They include X-rays, CT scans, nuclear medicine scan, MRI scan, and ultrasound.
• Orthotics and Prosthetics: Orthotics includes accuracy in the fabrication that is used in different body parts like the lower and upper limbs, spine or cranium. Prosthetics, on the other hand, involves the use of artificial limbs (prostheses) to increase the function and lifestyle of persons with limb loss.
• Dental Products: Dental products are simply the products that can be used to improve your oral hygiene.
• Patient aids: Pacemakers and hearing aids form a larger part of patient aids segment. Most of the products are acquired from Ireland, USA, and South Korea.
• Equipment and Instruments: These are instruments used in a healthcare delivery system. It includes patient monitors, ECG, oxygenators etc.
Current market scenario
According to a market research report, the Indian medical devices market was valued at INR 338.62 Bn in 2017, driven by rapid development in healthcare infrastructure in the country, and rise in the number of lifestyle related diseases like hypertension, diabetes, asthma, etc. Moreover, the Indian government, in partnerships with several private organizations, have undertaken a number of initiatives to improve the condition of public health within the country. These initiatives from both public and private enterprises are driving the growth of the healthcare sector, which in turn is favouring the medical devices market in India.
What’s in store for the Indian medical devices market?
The Indian medical devices market is expanding at a rapid pace, and this sector accounts for about 5% of the USD 96.7 Bn revenue generated by the healthcare sector. Presently, the global medical devices industry is worth USD 5.2 Bn with about 750–800 medical device manufacturers operating in the country. With respect to revenue and employment, the Indian healthcare industry has become one of the biggest sectors in the country and is attracting a lot of foreign players.
Indian government’s promotion of FDI has helped upgrade the technology used in this sector, which in turn has raised the standards and quality of healthcare. Moreover, career opportunities in this industry is also looking bright as all major players are intent on offering career planning programmes, development and training programmes, benefits to employees, which bodes well not only for the healthcare sector but also for the overall economy.
Notwithstanding the impressive outlook on this sector, there are certain underlying challenges that can hurt the industry going forward. Challenges in the form of regulatory reforms with respect to foreign investments can cause significant hindrance to the progress of this industry. Also, lack of customization and technological innovation can result in fewer healthcare delivery options for patients.
Also, unfavourable legislation and changes in the country’s import policies can severely affect medical devices industry in India, as it relies solely on import of diagnostic devices. However, with the right amendment and review of the legislation, an increase in growth of the market and local producers will increase their presence can be expected in the coming years.
Despite the seriousness of these issues, the favourable policies of the Indian government regarding this industry has managed to restore confidence among the market players. All endeavors and efforts made by the government and stakeholders to push operations, investment and activities in the ‘sunshine sector’ have started to show good results. Moving on, the circumstances of the Indian health scenario only assures a growing demand, which would accelerate more supply and production of the medical devices.
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