Despite challenges, medical device industry in India has potential for high growth

The Indian medical devices industry comprises four segments – consumables and implants, diagnostic imaging, instruments and appliances, and patient aids and, others. The global medical devices market is projected to grow from $495 billion in 2022 to $718.92 billion by 2029 at a CAGR of 5.5%. India is the 4th largest market of medical devices in Asia. The size of the Indian market is estimated to be around $12 billion with the sector comprising large multinationals and small and midsized companies.

India’s import of medical devices is staggering at almost 80%, and the country is highly dependent on foreign suppliers, particularly for high-end equipment such as cancer diagnostics, medical imaging, ultrasonic scans, and polymerase chain reaction technologies. According to a draft policy of the government on medical devices, India’s share in the global market is around 1.5% and the sector is still at a nascent stage in the country. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian medical devices sector’s contribution became more visible with the production of medical devices and diagnostic equipment such as ventilators, RT-PCR kits, IR thermometers, PPE kits, and N-95 masks. But local production is largely at the lower end of the technology value chain. Most local manufacturers are primarily focusing their R&D efforts on developing affordable medical devices for the lower and middle-income segments of the Indian market and operate predominantly in the low-priced, high-volume market segments.

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