With about 70% and more of all the treatment decisions that take place in India being based on diagnostic lab test results, there is no proper regulatory body overlooking all the practices of diagnostic labs. Several reports show that the revenues from diagnostics segment grew at a CAGR of around 20% in 2010-12, this is set to further grow at 25% on an annual basis year on year beyond 2013.
The independent pathological laboratories in the country and the industry are highly competitive and price-driven with kickback and business referral payments to doctors being a very common practice. The service sector has a large presence of players located at the regional or city level and a full fledged lab can perform 1500 different kinds of tests.
With a current population of 1.22bn as of 2011, growing at the rate of 1.5% year-on-year, the Indian market is enormous and ideal for diagnostic service providers and manufacturers. Once modern laboratory practices become established especially in the pre-analytics safety (use of Vacutainers, Nitrile Gloves, Disposable 2ply Surgical Masks, Disposable head caps and other disposable plastic-ware along with waste segregation techniques), this market of India will be highly recognized by all players in the diagnostic healthcare sector.
Diagnostics and pathology are key to profit drivers in the medical set up. A stand-alone diagnostic center model is well accepted due to operational efficiency with a business break-even within 2-3 years. Most of the diagnostic centers offer testing services in the following segments.
1. In-Vitro Diagnostics (IVD)
2. Molecular Diagnostics.
IVD has a tremendous scope in
a. Molecular diagnostics
c. Clinical Chemistry
After China, India is the next leader in IVD technology. With increased patient awareness, patient self-testing (such as the use of blood glucometer) along with baby booming population, the IVD market in India is growing in leaps and bounds. Advanced technology integrated into medical equipment is another factor driving growth.
Due to its low-cost technique, Molecular Diagnostics tests continue to be the fastest growing segment within the IVD space. High sensitivity and quick turnaround time along with easy and simple workflow process are driving this technique’s popularity and growth. In spite of all the growth, Molecular diagnostics suffers due to a highly fragmented market in India and the challenges are many (NABL accreditation and standardization being few of them).
Due to a more health conscious and concerned society in India, the diagnostic market is now changing into one that has a demand pattern for effective and suitable diagnostic tests at a broad level. The Indian diagnostic market is witnessing an era of immense progress in innovative competencies and credibility. The use of cutting-edge technologies in understanding the disease prognosis has further strengthened the sophistication level of participants in this sector and will continue to do so to serve it in better and more efficient ways.