Availability of better medical devices can revamp the Indian healthcare system

Medical devices and supplies form an integral part of the delivery of healthcare. In order to ensure the goal of universal healthcare, relentless innovation and technical development in the field of medical devices are essential. For accurate and timely diagnosis, safe and effective prevention, quality care as well as recovery, medical devices are critical. The World Health Organization recognizes that achieving health-related development goals depends on the correct processing, control, preparation, evaluation, procurement, management and usage of quality medical devices.

The medical device industry consists of a wide variety of resources and devices that help nursing practitioners efficiently provide quality healthcare and save critical lives. Diagnostic imaging, IV diagnostics, consumables, patient aids, ortho and prosthetics, dental products and other equipment such as patient monitors, ECG, etc., are medical devices. Each one of these categories is crucial to quality healthcare delivery. The Indian medical devices market is expected to grow to $50 billion by 2025. India is currently the fourth largest medical devices market in Asia after Japan, China and South Korea.
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Medical devices and their role in improving outcomes in healthcare
In the area of medical devices and facilities, constant innovation and technical development has helped doctors improve clinical outcomes and the quality of healthcare delivery. A modern revolution in the medical device industry is driving expanded use of digital technology with a greater emphasis on optimizing delivery, user experience and reducing healthcare costs. Here is a breakdown of areas where continuous progress allows India to achieve better health results in the medical device industry:

Real-time and point-of-care diagnosis
Real-time diagnostic methods have emerged as an important factor in combating infectious diseases due to creativity and technological development. Classical methods of detection, such as culture and immunoassays, produce reliable results, but the time required to achieve results is also a critical time lost in therapy.
In order to ensure better treatment of communicable diseases such as TB, rapid detection tools are expected to play a significant role. Overall, the accuracy of screening has also been increased by enhancing technologies. Portable/point-of-care devices are another significant category that has made it possible to strengthen diagnostic mechanisms at the primary level of healthcare, resulting in better health outcomes and patient satisfaction through delivering care at home.

Reducing costs of healthcare
In the machinery and equipment industry, technological innovations also play an important role in lowering healthcare costs, which is key to making healthcare facilities more accessible for the masses in India. New-age surgical technology has made it possible for doctors to treat extremely complex and critical cases and to reduce the duration of lengthy hospital stays. Advances in laparoscopic surgery, for instance, have gradually made it possible to conveniently conduct procedures such as angiography, stenting and spine surgery with enhanced results and shortened hospital stays. This has greatly helped to reduce healthcare costs.
Similarly, with the beginning of the era of remote surveillance and devices to help treat chronic conditions better, the total cost of health care is bound to decline over a period of time.
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Remote control of patients and chronic management of diseases
The new buzzword in the world of medical equipment is remote control. There has been an increase in demand for medical devices and equipment that can track patients constantly, more efficiently and minimize the need to visit clinics and hospitals, with an increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases and an increasingly aging population.
An emerging trend of our day is a rising interest in IoT-driven healthcare facilities and wearable medical devices. Using cloud-based services, these devices can alert doctors to a patient’s major changes in vital signs.
These innovations in health screening technologies have allowed patients to track their health conditions at home, reducing the need for visits to hospitals and reducing the strain on health centers that are overburdened.

Boosting local production: Need of the hour
Although technological developments in the equipment industry are expected to play a critical role in enhancing healthcare efficiency, it is important to take sufficient action to ensure greater accessibility and affordability. In a nutshell, the need of the hour is to strengthen the environment regulating the industry. This involves strengthening regulatory frameworks, quality testing, as well as promoting market innovation. The need to develop a more congenial tax environment is also relevant. At present, GST on medical devices stands at 12 percent. Customs duty is poor, on the other hand. This tax policy has a negative effect on indigenous production and encourages imports, contrary to the Make in India initiative, which is intuitive. Notably, imports account for 75% of the country’s medical device sales in the sector, while local manufacturers primarily produce goods in the lower end of the value chain.
In order to help local manufacturers gain a greater market share, the government must consider revising its tax policy for devices to lower the GST while rising the customs duty. This will help them produce goods at more competitive prices as well.
The ‘Make in India’ initiative provides a forum for the industry to rethink the operating model, recognize key growth imperatives and explore prospects for a step-change in the medical devices industry. This in turn enables Indian manufacturers to provide essential equipment such as CT scans, catheters, dialysis equipment and many more with affordable options.