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Date: December 12, 2023

Disease progression is serving as a catalyst for innovation in the medical devices sector

Disease progression is serving as a catalyst for innovation in the medical devices sector

Reaching a higher target in any manufacturing segment will require a strategic approach, which is especially relevant for the medical devices industry

In what way is the manufacturing ecosystem in India changing regarding medical device technology?

The landscape of medical device manufacturing in India has seen significant progress. India stands out as one of the rapidly expanding markets for medical devices among emerging economies. Within this a burgeoning sector, one can encounter a diverse array of participants, encompassing both major multinational corporations and thriving small and medium enterprises (SMEs). As of the present, the Indian medical device industry boasts an estimated market size of approximately $11 billion.

Several key factors are helping boost the manufacturing of medical devices in India, some of them are:

  • Industry collaboration: Industry collaboration plays a vital role where academic institutions, industry players, and government agencies work together to foster innovation, especially in the field of medical manufacturing. Today, partnerships with international organisations are also on the rise.
  • Infrastructure development: In recent times, there’s been a boost in medical infrastructure development with the rise of medical device parks. Such facilities help in creating a conducive environment for medical device manufacturers, reducing operational costs and facilitating research and development.
  • Ease of investment: As far as investments are concerned, foreign direct investment (FDI) policies have been on the rise. This has further eased the capital flow, technology transfer, and an overall boost to the medical device manufacturing industry.
  • Innovation and R&D: Increased investment leads to betterresearch and development centres.This has further helped India achieve cutting-edge technology, ensuring we stay relevant in the competitive global market.
  • Thriving startup ecosystem: Most importantly, the startup boom in India has ensured we have innovative solutions. For one, we are now witnessing a shift to high-value manufacturing with the boom of startups in the country.

The modern healthcare landscape has been reshaped by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in the increased prominence of mobile and web applications. This shift necessitates the expertise of UX and UI design specialists to improve the overall user experience. In healthcare, the absence of a smooth UX can adversely affect patient outcomes, posing significant financial challenges for medical companies.

How do you see patient experience getting streamlined in the future?

Patient experience has undergone a significant transformation, particularly in recent years. The future promises even more enhancements, driven by shifts in technology, culture, and healthcare organisations. For example, the boom of wearable devices has revolutionised continuous health monitoring, offering real-time access to health information. Moreover, the ongoing expansion of digital health and telemedicine is anticipated to provide increased accessibility for patients, enabling them to receive healthcare services conveniently from their homes.

Telemedicine platforms with intuitive interfaces are on the rise and are projected to expand further. Moreover, the Internet of Things (IoT) technology will play a pivotal role in optimising the overall patient experience. For example, IoT can facilitate remote patient monitoring, allowing real-time tracking of patient health status and streamlining intervention when necessary. The transition to digitally streamlined medical workflows is overdue, and organisations that lag are likely to encounter increased expenses, diminished patient satisfaction, and other associated challenges.

Given that the disease progression rate has almost doubled in the last few years, what sort of trends can we expect in the medical device domain?

A rapidly ageing population and a growing incidence of chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension are prominent trends. Shortly, the medical infrastructure is likely to place significant emphasis on addressing these factors.

Coupled with this, the accelerated disease progression rate in recent years has created several trends and shifts in the medical device domain, which will centre around the following –

  • AI and ML: AI and ML advances will continue to simplify diagnosing, treating, and monitoring patients. AI is aiding in quick, reliable answers about diseases and treatments. Both AI and ML technologies will continue to play a key role in helping patients take care of their health as well.
  • Personalisation: Personalised medicine is becoming prevalent now more than ever, and medical devices will increasingly be tailored to individual patients based on their genetic, genomic, and clinical data.
  • Self-administered treatment/treatment that is minimally invasive: The advances in surgical techniques and technologies will lead to the development of more sophisticated minimally invasive surgical devices. These devices can lead to faster recovery times, reduced scarring, and shorter hospital stays.
  • Wearable medical technology: Wearable devices are available in a wide range, including basic health and steps trackers, and monitors to track hypertension, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and so on. These wearable devices provide advanced data points for real-time monitoring and the industry is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.
  • Cybersecurity/Data Security: As medical devices become more connected and reliant on digital technology, there will be a growing emphasis on cybersecurity and data privacy to protect patient information and the integrity of the devices themselves.
  • Advanced diagnostic devices: Future medical trends will also showcase a greater emphasis on early disease detection and diagnosis. Technologies such as point-of-care testing, AI- based diagnostic tools and advanced imaging devices will play a crucial role in identifying diseases at earlier, more treatable stages.

The rising rate of disease progression is serving as a catalyst for innovation and change within the medical device sector. The above trends are centered on enhancing patient care, expanding healthcare accessibility, and aligning with the evolving healthcare environment.

Author: Muthusamy Selvaraj - Vice President Innovation & Emerging Business, Tata Elxsi