Indian healthcare environment is gaining momentum
According to you, what are the trends in biosuppliers market with respect to life sciences and healthcare industry in India?
With the ever evolving requirements, everybody is seeking newer and better technologies that are easier to use and are much more accurate in performing meaningful and relevant research. For example: Initially, BD began with smaller number of lasers in flow cytometry technology (1 laser, 2 laser, 3 laser) but now we have started using up to ten lasers with 4 to 12 parameters as the usual discussion points, we now have access to up to 50 parameters. We can now study up to 50 different characteristics of a single cell simultaneously. This advancement allows researchers to analyse cell much more carefully and it gives them a better insight of the cell.
Secondly, clinical establishments are using this technology increasingly. Earlier this was driven by the researchers who were focused on finding insights of the cells. Now, establishments are using these insights to understand even the clinical aspects. As flow cytometry provides faster and accurate results, it is getting used particularly in oncology for leukaemia, lymphoma, MRD (Minimum Residual Disease) HIV and other diseases as well. Therefore clinical establishments like hospitals and laboratory chains are progressively using this technology. This brings us to important considerations like ease of use and the smaller footprint of the instrument as important factor towards a faster adoption. So technologies that are advanced, easier to use are preferred today. Instruments are becoming smaller, making them more portable and easier to maintain. Indian healthcare environment is gaining momentum and is being fuelled by an expansion of laboratory chains. I strongly believe that the market is expanding and so is the competition.
What are major challenges before biosuppliers industry? Suggestions to overcome these issues?
One of the challenges is ability to use these technologies in multiple applications. One must have clarity to put this application to appropriate use and to assist researchers and clinicians navigate through this, application specialists knowing the technology and its application become more relevant. It is important to train and support the users of this technology with its applications and mostly companies are failing to do so.
At BD, our team of trained application specialists, mostly post-graduates and Ph.Ds in Biosciences are able to decipher the needs of the customers and accordingly advise and support them in developing different applications.
Additionally these machines are very hightech. They require a precise way of usage, storage and handling and not many users may be trained that might result in frequent break-downs or unsatisfactory outcomes.
Geographic spread of India poses a big challenge because companies have only a finite number of service engineers and since the technology is ever evolving, not every engineer is trained on the advanced model of each product. It is critical to determine the effective optimisation of existing resources keeping both customer expectations and geographic layout in mind.
How do you see the opportunities for biosuppliers?
With rapidly growing healthcare sector, this domain offers significant opportunities for many players. One of the biggest and dominant buyers of this technology undoubtedly is the Government of India funded organisations such as CSIR, ICMR, DBT, institutes of higher education like IITs and IISERs.
I am very optimistic that the current is encouraging the scientists to work towards producing the outcomes of research; as to how it will create a social impact and ultimately advance the world of health and well-being i.e translational research. I also anticipate increased focus on medical research areas for cancer, HIV in the near future.
Business Director, BD Life Sciences-Biosciences