Health and time are two factors that humans are running short of. The important factor to consider here is the cost of getting it in the least amount of time. It may sound contradictive but yes, good healthcare could cost more. With an eye to profit, everyone wants to get into this sector but looks like there is no clear path. As a country, we require devices that are not just manufactured but designed for India. This brings in the cost perspective, competition and serving a billion plus population is not an easy task. This article is written based on the insights given by Nitesh K Jangir, Co-founder, COEO Labs.
The wake-up call
The make in India drive by the government of India has triggered a lot of development in Medical field. India heavily relies on medical imports which still amounts to a staggering 80% despite a huge number of engineers and medical personnel. The lifestyles of people have changed dramatically. With more dependence on technology, life is more easy and effortless in urban India. The story is not the same in rural India. “Most people work in metro cities and they have access to very good healthcare. If you notice, people from suburban and rural areas have to travel far to reach for medical help,” says Nitesh K Jangir, Co-founder Coeo Labs. The focus is not to neglect but accommodate a huge number of people living in these areas too. Now the solutions have to be cost-effective and reasonably accessible to them which is possible through engineering and interdisciplinary support. Infrastructure has to be built.
Supporting the above, if the manufacturing of medical equipment happens locally, public healthcare access to a large number of people could be made available. Large volumes of medical goods will be available at competitive prices for a longer period of time without any surge in prices. “This way ‘Made in India’ medical device demand will grow. Not just domestic products, but if a manufacturer takes steps to meet the local markets requirements like quality, price competitiveness; they can also compete in the export market. The current exports in the segment are $1.2 billion US dollars. When compared to China, the medical devices made in India are able to compete on quality and technology. We would be able to demand a price utilization nearly 30 percent higher than China in the international market,” says Nitesh K Jangir. This could provide a way to minimize the cost of importing the devices while minimizing cost.
Interdisciplinary education support
The interdisciplinary method is all about learning and co-working with different curricular disciplines. “This means if manufacturing has to happen in India, engineers and designers must work with the clinical community. All that spoken, there is a lack of interdisciplinary support. Companies in this field must come together and decide whether they should form a team and start designing to collaborate and create the machines,” says Nitesh. This would favor in bringing down the escalated cost of machines from the international market. Also Made in India machines will better adapt to the needs of Indians.
Clearing clinical gaps and design challenges
The medical device manufacturers must change their focus to assessing the problem and integrate the technology that is available. For example, Wireless ECG is an intuitive approach to removing all the bulky wires and hassles of handling it.
From the engineering perspective of observing, realizing and understanding, it is possible to design specific medical machines for specific diseases. The companies could adopt this as their business model and become expert vendors. Not about making the profit on first hand. For example -VAP ventilator-associated pneumonia is a global problem. Our team has succeeded in designing this machine designed here and is regulatory approved. For the record, we went through multiple concept generations, brainstorming, prototyping, validating the responses from the field, IEC60601-1 testing after which the designing team had to understand the challenges and rules really well. We succeeded in solving Power issues and ergonomics of the device to suit Indian needs,” says Nitesh.
Final Medical product
Today there are Indian made medical devices and machines that can are a worthy match to international ones. The medical sector grows 15% annually and everyone involved in this area is understanding the importance of designing and manufacturing in India. Soon our efforts can open up a lot of opportunities globally for the primary reason that we manufacture components with fewer resources, with same bandwidth capabilities as compared to global counterparts.
For more such interesting stories, read more.
To know more, attend Nitesh K Jangir’ s talk on “CONCEPT TO COMMERCIALIZATION OF MEDICAL IoT DEVICES“ at EFY Conferences 2018