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Emerging markets rev up for access to affordable tech to offset hassles of poor healthcare infrastructure: Experts

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Thursday, August 18, 2016, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

“Inadequate hospital infrastructure, scarcity of qualified clinicians and fragmented healthcare ecosystems preventing successful surgical care. This is where the emphasis should be on affordable technology for early diagnosis; portable modular equipment for minimally invasive and robotic surgery; besides smart systems incorporating low-cost sensors and mobile technology to track clinical outcomes and improve team-based surgery, according to experts.

“Over 85% of the world’s population lives in emerging markets, yet many of these people have no access to affordable quality healthcare, particularly complex treatment like surgery,” said Rahul Sathe, head of surgical innovation, emerging markets, Cambridge Consultants.

Infrastructure, regulations and particularly the medical devices bill from India are still being formed. The domestic industry is not particularly strong offering a lower barrier to innovation compared with developed markets, said experts at a workshop organized by Cambridge Consultants.

“This is where new approaches to healthcare will extend beyond emerging markets to disrupt and transform how affordable quality surgical care is delivered globally. For instance even today, some hospitals in India have better outcomes for cardiac surgery than top hospitals in the US or UK. And top-tier hospitals in China are now being designed to be eco-friendly, sensor-rich and cloud-connected,” Sathe added.

The surgical device industry has unprecedented growth opportunity to address the unmet needs of very large patient populations. The primary role of technology will be twofold: One it will extend to the ‘hospital ecosystem’ across the continuum of care from early diagnosis and surgical intervention to postoperative monitoring. Second is to ensure products are robust, usable and affordable, said experts.

Cambridge Consultants in its report titled 'emerging markets global surgical care by 2030’ has also indicated that patient expectations and hospital ecosystems in emerging markets will dramatically evolve and, in some cases, leapfrog developed markets. The growth of emerging markets is poised to transform the delivery of surgical care across the world by 2030.

According to Agustin Zabulanes, marketing manager,  Latin America, Boston Scientific, the emerging markets will play a significant role in transforming our industry. Local companies may provide stiff competition to multinational companies and may also prove to be powerful partners in global surgical care.


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