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How Point-of-Care Diagnostic Devices Enhancing Healthcare Accessibility in India

Written by : Guest

March 24, 2024

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Dr Rajesh M Patel

In recent years, the healthcare industry has witnessed a remarkable shift in diagnostic practices, particularly with the emergence of Point-of-Care (POC) testing. Innovative solutions provided by companies including Mylab are central to this transformation and have played a pivotal role in enhancing healthcare accessibility and disease management in India.

Delve into the evolving realm of POC testing with insights from Dr Rajesh M Patel, executive director at Mylab Discovery Solutions. Gain a deeper understanding of the challenges, advancements, and potential impact of POC diagnostic devices on healthcare delivery in India.

Point-of-care (POC) testing has emerged as a game-changer in the field of healthcare diagnostics, offering immediate results at the location where patients receive care. Unlike traditional laboratory testing, which often involves sending samples to centralized facilities, POC testing allows for rapid assessment of various medical conditions, enabling healthcare providers to make timely treatment decisions. This approach is particularly valuable in managing acute conditions such as cardiac emergencies, infectious diseases, and diabetes, where quick diagnosis is crucial for optimal patient outcomes. POC testing has also shown promise in improving access to diagnostic services, especially in remote or resource-limited settings, by reducing the need for complex infrastructure and specialized laboratory equipment. As technology advances, POC testing is expected to be increasingly important in enhancing healthcare accessibility and improving patient care worldwide.

Market Overview

According to recent studies, the global Point-of-Care (POC) diagnostics market has been experiencing significant growth, with an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.3% from 2013 to 2018. This growth trend is projected to continue, with an expected CAGR of 11.9% during 2018–2023.

In India, the POC diagnostics market is witnessing significant growth across various segments, including CLIA, hematology, clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, and immunofluorescence. While the adoption of POC devices in rural laboratories is gradually increasing, challenges related to clinician acceptance persist.

Significance of Point-of-Care (POC) Testing

In layman's terms, POC testing refers to providing healthcare services directly at the location where the patient requires them, whether at home, the office, or a medical facility. The essence of POC testing lies in its ability to deliver prompt diagnostic results, enabling clinicians to initiate treatment expeditiously. This approach proves particularly beneficial in managing lifestyle diseases such as cardiac emergencies, diabetes, infections, and certain cancers.

The key advantage of POC testing lies in its ability to significantly reduce turnaround time (TAT), facilitating prompt clinical decision-making. By eliminating the need for patients to travel to distant testing facilities, POC testing saves time and expedites the initiation of appropriate treatment.

Challenges Facing the Indian Healthcare System

One of the significant challenges confronting the Indian healthcare system pertains to accessibility, particularly in rural areas. With over 70% of India's population residing in rural regions, access to reliable testing facilities is often limited. Patients must travel to urban centers for diagnostic tests, leading to logistical challenges and compromised sample integrity.

The reliance on urban laboratories for diagnostic testing not only incurs additional costs but also contributes to delays in obtaining accurate results. Furthermore, the lack of acceptance for in-clinic testing among Indian clinicians poses a significant barrier to the widespread adoption of POC devices.

Addressing Accessibility with Point-of-Care (POC) Diagnostic Devices

POC diagnostic devices offer a viable solution to the pressing need for rapid and cost-effective diagnostics in India. These compact devices leverage advanced technologies to deliver accurate results within minutes, comparable to traditional laboratory-based tests. Moreover, the visual nature of many POC tests facilitates quick interpretation of results, ranging from pregnancy tests to cardiac markers.

Additionally, POC devices are user-friendly and require minimal training, making them suitable for deployment in healthcare centers with limited resources. By decentralizing testing capabilities, POC devices empower smaller laboratories to perform diverse tests, enhancing healthcare accessibility across India.

Prevailing Status of POC Diagnostic Tools

The POC diagnostics market in India is witnessing significant growth across various segments, including CLIA, hematology, clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, and immunofluorescence. While the adoption of POC devices in rural laboratories is gradually increasing, challenges related to clinician acceptance persist.

Despite their potential benefits, several barriers impede the widespread adoption of POC diagnostic devices in India. A notable constraint is the limited availability of domestically manufactured analyzer-based POC devices, resulting in higher costs associated with imported products. Furthermore, clinicians' prevailing preference for empiric treatment or laboratory-based testing hampers the acceptance of in-clinic POC testing.

Future Outlook & Impact

Looking ahead, POC diagnostic devices hold immense potential to revolutionize healthcare accessibility and disease management in India. POC devices can bridge the gap between rural and urban healthcare disparities by decentralizing testing facilities and empowering smaller healthcare centers. This shift towards localized diagnostics reduces treatment costs and attracts qualified healthcare professionals to rural areas, fostering comprehensive healthcare development nationwide.

In conclusion, integrating POC diagnostic devices into the mainstream healthcare system is crucial for enhancing accessibility and improving patient outcomes across India. With continued innovation and strategic initiatives, POC testing can transform the landscape of Indian healthcare, ensuring equitable access to quality diagnostic services for all.


About Chime India

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving senior digital health leaders. CHIME includes more than 5,000 members in 56 countries and two US territories and partners with over 150 healthcare IT businesses and professional services firms. CHIME enables its members and business partners to collaborate, exchange ideas, develop professionally and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and care throughout the communities they serve. CHIME's members are chief information officers (CIOs), chief medical information officers (CMIOs), chief nursing information officers (CNIOs), chief innovation officers (CIOs), chief digital officers (CDOs), and other senior healthcare leaders. The CHIME India Chapter became the first international chapter outside North America in 2016 and is now a community of over 70+ members in India. For more information, please visit www.chimecentral.org

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