India’s medical devices startups grabbing the world’s attention with advanced and affordable technologies
In an industry dominated by global giants, medical devices startups are making inroads with technology that’s advanced, affordable and more accessible.
India’s medical devices industry is growing at about 15% annually and is expected to reach at least $25-30 billion (Rs 1.65-1.98 lakh crore) by 2025, according to a report in March by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India, driven by indigenous manufacturing, exports and local innovation.
But the industry is fragmented, price-sensitive and faces constraints such as erratic power supply, low doctor-patient ratio and a shortage of trained personnel to handle complex devices, pain areas startups are trying to tide over to achieve market acceptance.
The affordability and increased reach that these startups bring are also particularly crucial. Medical technology contributes significantly to healthcare delivery costs in India, with medical devices and diagnostics accounting for 20%-25% of the cost of medical services, according to Deloitte. “We are seeing Indian medical devices startups being able to innovate and bring products to the market faster than their western counterparts at a price point that is very attractive,” said Barath Shankar Subramanian, vice president at venture capital firm Accel Partners
Remidio, which makes eye-care diagnostics technology, has so far commercially launched two products smartphone-based Fundus on Phone and Angio on Touch diagnostic imaging system. While obtaining a complete image of the retina would require a wide-field imaging camera that costs about Rs 65 lakh, Remidio’s Fundus on Phone, priced Rs 1.8 lakh, can connect to a mobile phone camera to take pictures of the central part of the retina. It is highly useful in early detection of diabetic retinopathy. “This is a marathon, not a sprint,” said Anand Sivaraman, CEO at Remidio, an IIT-Kharagpur alumnus who previously worked at General Electric and biotechnology firm ReaMetrix. The startup has achieved 300 installations across hospitals and private opthalmologist clinics in the past 22 months.