Medical devices in cancer care

Medical devices in cancer care

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A look into the current situation of the Indian manufacturing capabilities

The total market for diagnostic and medical equipment in India is worth about $3.5 billion and is expanding at an annual rate of 18%. While some “top of the line” Western device companies can sell their triple-A products to private Indian hospitals, most public hospitals will require simpler, portable, easy-to-use and more affordable versions of Western diagnostic and cancer treatment products.

Manufacture of medical electronic equipment forms a negligible part of total electronics production, but there has been a steady increase in the value of its production. In the 15 year period from 1988 to 2003, its value increased 12 fold to Rs. 421.81 crores, at about 18% per annum. [4] The increase in the manufacture of some imaging equipment, such as medical X-ray and ultrasound equipment can be attributed to the manufacture/assembly of these by multinationals such as General Electric (GE) and Siemens, for sale in India and other neighboring countries. GE has partnered with local Indian companies to develop cancer-related services and products. GE and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras’ Healthcare Technology Innovation Center (HTIC) announced a 3-year research and development agreement in January 2014. GE and India’s Max Healthcare announced a partnership in March 2014 to develop cancer treatment protocols and pathways, a training institute and a virtual expert consultation program.

Overall, while manufacturing may seem to be picking up in the country, it is more in the form of subsidiaries, as joint ventures and as part of contract manufacturing. Increasingly, multinationals and other medical device companies from the US are outsourcing several of their activities to India, as a way of reducing costs in manufacturing, R and D, clinical trials and other medical services.