India has the potential to become a global leader in the medical device sector. There is a strong focus on promoting self-reliance in medical device manufacturing, encouraging indigenous innovation and ensuring accessibility and affordability of medical devices for all. Initiatives such as the Medical Technology Assessment Board (MTAB) have been instituted to streamline regulatory processes and support innovative projects. Incubation centres and innovation hubs similar to the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), are expected to foster an environment conducive for start-ups and encourage cross-collaborations between academia and the industry.

Going forward, collaboration between manufacturers, regulatory bodies, and healthcare providers will be key to developing products suitable for the Indian patient population. Advanced technologies such as IoT, 5G, Generative AI (GenAI), and 3D printing among others will help manufacturers to identify patient points and customise innovative solutions.

The report highlights the policies and initiatives taken by the government to promote innovation in Indian medical device sector. Furthermore, it highlights the gaps that exists and provides recommendations for the stakeholders to address. In the Indian context, innovation in medical devices can be defined as one that identifies specific patient challenges and provides affordable and sustainable care solutions to patients using new products and surgical techniques without compromising on quality.

The sector faces an interesting dichotomy with growing demand for innovative and latest technologies on one hand and the need to make them affordable on the other. Innovative health technologies can help enhance the quality of the healthcare delivery by reducing the overall healthcare cost, reduced hospital stays and real-time diagnosis of medical conditions. Global medical device companies view India as an important growth market not only with respect to the domestic demand but also to cater to global markets.

To ensure business expansion and diversifying portfolio, companies are boosting R&D initiatives in India. The medical device sector is highly fragmented in India, with players focused on manufacturing low-priced high-volume devices where the competition is intense. To improve margins, market players need to innovate and start addressing the patient demand for high-end medical devices. As we chart the future course, it is imperative that we build upon the momentum of innovation, address existing challenges and seize opportunities. This thought leadership is an attempt to guide stakeholders to navigate through this exciting journey of transformation, making healthcare in India more efficient, accessible and patient centric.