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Khushroo A. Pastakia

Khushroo A. Pastakia, CEO & Managing Director, Voxtur Bio Ltd.

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Technology to be Key Enabler in Taking the IVD Sector to the Next Level of Development

Key challenge areas exist in upgrading the still-nascent IVD sector in India. The country faces a glaring paucity of trained personnel equipped to operate a host of newly developed histological and molecular tests.

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The In-Vitro Diagnostics Industry in India has undergone a tectonic shift in its functional paradigms over the last few years. Technology has emerged as a key enabler in driving the efficacies of the domestic IVD industry with emergence of epigenomics-based diagnostics and facilitation of disease detection in early developmental stages. Advances in new-age research techniques and momentous developments such as the human genome project and functional genomics is setting new precedents in laboratory medicine technology.

Over the years, India is set to become a huge market for IVD products. The market in the country will be driven by the increasing demand for minimally invasive and non-invasive diagnostic procedures and a sustained rise in healthcare costs. Expansive emergency services and post-surgical testing innovations have spurred the demand for IVD products from the hospital laboratories segment, the largest buyer for the products. Though a highly niche industry at present, clinical laboratories running independently also form a huge customer base for IVD products with upgraded testing capabilities and broadened avenues for diagnostics. Home healthcare also commands a prominent chunk of the IVD product market particularly for diabetes monitoring.

A huge market potential is foreseen for molecular diagnostic products as the need arises for accurate screening and speedy diagnosis of complex genetic disorders and tumors. A rise in sedentary lifestyles, increasing incidences of chronic diseases, poor dietary choices and adherence to western habits has led to the proliferation of lifestyle diseases and the consequent need for point of care (POC) diagnostic technologies. Innovations in POC products coupled with a robust growth of the home healthcare market will boost the efficacies of the molecular diagnostics market.

The demand for clinical chemistry products is anticipated to witness a massive uptick with the increasing preference for point-of-care systems and the rise in use of diabetes self-monitoring devices. Immunoassay products are likely to witness a huge spurt in demand on account of rising emphasis on cancer testing and cardiovascular diagnosis, detection of infectious diseases and therapeutic drug monitoring. IVD product lines will need to be scientifically innovated for catering to the challenges posed by changing trends in diabetes self-monitoring and patient health screening. Rising cases of ovarian and breast cancer will continue to bolster demand for cellular analysis reagents and instruments.

Key challenge areas exist in upgrading the still-nascent IVD sector in India. The country faces a glaring paucity of trained personnel equipped to operate a host of newly developed histological and molecular tests. With a view to advance the technological capabilities of laboratory resources, a slew of test and laboratory automation tools have been launched, to obliterate human error in critical diagnostic processes and augment accuracy levels. Automation is emerging as a pivot along which sample analysis and testing will be undertaken in histology, microbiology, hematology and blood banks. Increased focus on automation will lead to consolidation in the sector with the setting up of huge capacity laboratories for facilitating large-scale testing procedures. Analytical processes across the diagnostic spectrum comprising diabetes, infectious diseases and HPV will be increasingly automated.

There is a strong need to create a sustained technology policy framework through a thrust on innovation and allocation of resources for fast-pacing the development of the IVD sector. An evolved diagnosis technology model needs to be formulated which will ensure that technologically advanced healthcare is available to all sections of the population. A standard system of checks and balances need to be instituted for regulating the quality of diagnostic tests with the setup of a strong regulator. The government also needs to incentivize public-private partnership to encourage R&D in the IVD sector and fund the setting up of IVD start-ups which can expedite product innovation.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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technology IVD Sector

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