26 December 2012 | Opinion | By BioSpectrum Bureau
Mr Nitin Sawant, general manager, diagnostics, Trivitron Healthcare
Until recently, diagnostics tests were being used more for diagnosis and management of disease as healthcare was more focused on treatment and less focused on the prevention of diseases. However, increasing awareness about personal health, due to various factors like education, flow of information, elevated life standards, are driving healthcare towards preventive medicine.
Diagnostic testing for prevention of diseases is gaining importance. Personalized medicine, which uses diagnostic test information to decide about patient and disease specific treatment, is also emerging. This has resulted in growth of pharmacogenetics (PGx), companion diagnostics (CDx) and point-of-care testing (POCT) domains.
Lab automation is growing. Basic diagnostic assays in clinical chemistry, hematology and immunology are growing faster but the overall revenues are dropping due to competition and availability of resources. Molecular diagnostics' (MDx ) volumes and revenues are growing. Due to one-child policy, adapted by many couples and womens education, the new born screening (NBS) segment is growing. Considering growth in POCT, MDx and NBS, our company had already launched many new products in these segment. Our company is trying to make all efforts to make these tests available in all parts of country with affordable prices.
We operate all over India. Existing lab chains are expanding and more companies are planning to start lab chains. Many corporate houses are starting hospitals. Private equity companies are investing in labs, hospitals as well as supplier companies. The government is taking public health more seriously and fund allocation per year is increasing. Public awareness and screening projects for sickle cell anemia, cervical cancer, aids, tuberculosis are being implemented by the government.
Many foreign healthcare companies are starting their direct operations in India. Foreign investment companies are starting hospitals. Our company is frontrunner in this segment with a visionary leadership of Dr GSK Velu, our MD. Our company has already formed joint ventures with many companies from abroad and has acquired companies in India and abroad.
Major challenge for the sector has been the slowdown due to global economy in addition to substantial increase in material cost, due to increase in exchange rates of foreign currencies. This resulted in increased selling prices. We have been working to offer diagnostics solutions at affordable prices by sourcing more innovative products.