In rhyming words I’ll now convey,
An opinion piece I wrote today.
National Medical Devices Policy Twenty twenty-three,
Is the focus of this poetic spree.
Challenges and opportunities are here explored,
In a form of expression that can’t be ignored.
Tackling India’s Medical Devices Policy,
With verses filled with poetic creativity.
Seeking some advice, for your medical device?
The Internet of Medical Things seems such a fanciful phrase;
To describe a world that is still only in its emergent phase.
But technology to improve healthcare access is today’s reality;
Smartphones monitor everything, from blood sugar to overall vitality.
Apps replace some devices and at the same time do data capture.
The garden of possibilities can drive developers into total rapture!
But: a thousand flowers blooming can make the garden unmanageable.
Chaos ensues. Resource management challenges become unimaginable.
An enabling mechanism is needed, which still keeps innovative minds free.
There is one now: the National Medical Devices Policy Twenty twenty-three.
The Devices Market Needed a Propellant. Will the Policy be the accelerant?
In trying to answer the question, consider the following facts.
India‘s device market is small despite the interest it attracts!
For the most necessary kinds of equipment, there are only imports.
We make at the low-end and buy at the high, according to the reports.
The first goal of the new Medical Devices Policy is to reverse that trend. To be able to make needed devices and equipment, that are end-to-end.
The second is to reduce import dependence, be Atmanirbhar in more than name. Take a thousand sparks, build med-tech parks and fan them into a roaring flame.
The purposes of ‘Making in India’ and ‘Make for India’ can both be equally served.
The Policy will support any idea that meets its goals, wherever support is deserved.
‘Make in India’ is an invitation, about letting in and ‘Make for India’ is a calling.
If the objectives of both are met, all the better: the disease burden will start falling!
Which brings up the third goal of the policy: a growth explosion in the devices sector.
There is no tolerance for an incremental one; the target set needs a sustained vector.
Why Now? The Real Question is ‘Well, How’?
It’s not going to be easy, say experts and health industry professionals.
There is no way to achieve global parity or quality by being concessional.
Navigating inconsistent regulation is like scaling a very high wall.
It’s a barrier for all aspiring and current device-makers, big or small.
Belief in our potential ranges from evangelists to skeptics and agnostics.
There are many segments in the business, from equipment to diagnostics.
Research and development struggles have dogged the industry’s different parts.
They have all evolved at different speeds: some smoothly, others in fits and starts.
Making the devices we need requires technological sophistication.
It calls for some specifics grounded in a solid engineering education.
More than 1.5 million engineers graduate from colleges every year.
Yet, the country’s manufacturing base is too small, many experts fear.
Implementing the policy will take years; it can’t be done in months.
We won’t be able to do everything, or be everywhere, all at once.
Priorities will have to be set, but only a small number of them.
Digital health is one already, and for others, provides root and stem.
A Framework for Implementation, and Ideas for Solicitation…
- Awareness about medical devices is fragmented in healthcare.
- Access to many of them, for most people can be exceedingly rare.
- Availability is the problem, for which a solution must be found.
Not just in the policy, but also in its implementation on the ground.
- People skilled in the use of devices are a very crucial element.
- Programs may have to be created to acquire essential equipment.
- Patient-centricity must be the guiding principle at the very core.
The impact of all three should be measurable: “Is it better than before?”
- Infrastructure will enable setting up the right environment.
- Investment capital will spur breakthroughs and enlightenment.
- Incentives is the glue that will help hold it all together.
Working in tandem, these can brave any stormy weather.
One way to think of all the above is as being Active Policy Ingredients.
Mix and match them, and as we go along, profit from the experience!
The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.