In India, for medical devices, there is a heavy reliance on imports and the Draft National Medical Devices Policy 2022 underlines the government’s aim to increase the self-reliance quotient in India’s MedTech space. In line with the government's Atmanirbhar Bharat endeavour, Wipro GE Healthcare is widening its manufacturing footprint to provide MedTech devices that are ‘made in India, for India and for the world’. Dr Shravan Subramanyam, Managing Director, Wipro GE Healthcare told Business Today that of the total sales in India, around one-third is being manufactured and assembled in India.
Under the government’s PLI scheme for medical hardware, Wipro GE has invested Rs 100 crores for the new Medical Device Manufacturing facility, spread across 35,000 sq. ft. As one of 15 medical device manufacturers approved under the PLI scheme, this Wipro GE healthcare facility manufactures critical medical equipment made in India, for India and the world.
“We are proud to say that it is one of few manufacturing shopfloors with a dual focus on bringing the best in medical technology as well as developing a more inclusive workforce within the MedTech manufacturing space. We are utilising cutting-edge manufacturing technologies and processes, including lean manufacturing at the facility. All the products manufactured here are designed to be scalable to cater to specific requirements across various markets and customer industries. Through the manufacturing of critical equipment like CT machines, cath lab equipment, ultrasound scanners, patient monitoring solutions, ECG machines, and ventilators at this facility, we aspire to further develop a resilient healthcare ecosystem and strengthen access to healthcare across the country,” Subramanyam said.
Recently, Wipro GE Healthcare has launched its 'Made in India' CT System - Revolution Aspire CT (Computed Tomography) scanner, which is designed and manufactured end-to-end at the new MDM facility under the PLI Scheme.
“Aspire is the culmination of cutting-edge technology, superior engineering and high-end innovation from our engineers and scientists at GE Healthcare’s Bangalore Technology centre. The Revolution Aspire CT scanner increases operational efficiency with up to 50 per cent higher throughput, the rotation time in the Revolution Aspire CT scanner has been increased by 20 per cent resulting in faster diagnosis. In addition, with the improved cooling rate, the scanner allows a higher rate of continuous scanning and can handle higher patient volumes per day. The CT scanner also comes with a new detector design and algorithm, along with smart features such as Smart MAR, that enables up to 30 per cent improved image quality," Subramanyam.
With the Revolution Aspire CT, Wipro GE Healthcare aims to address the demand in regions beyond tier 1 cities - where affordability and usability are key factors.
Other than Wipro GE, Siemens Healthcare Private Limited is another approved applicant for the PLI scheme which has committed an investment of Rs 91.9 crore for the manufacture of CT and Magnetic Resonance (MR) Imaging.
Speaking on the priority areas in healthcare, Subramanyam said: “The challenge lies in healthcare facilities with high-quality medical devices being concentrated in urban areas, despite the majority of the population living in rural areas. However, initiatives such as 'Make in India' and the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme are pushing the sector to reduce the supply gap by lowering reliance on medical device imports and growing the local manufacturing footprint.”
He further added that the ability of healthcare institutions to scale up to address the high patient volumes is another vital factor for enabling accessibility.
“Private players have been expanding beyond metro cities to tier 2 and tier 3 regions. Public-private partnerships will play a key role in further advancing the health infrastructure of the country for a more resilient and robust care delivery,” Subramanyam.
According to the data available on Invest India, the hospital industry is expected to reach $132 billion by 2023 from $61.8 billion in 2017; growing at a CAGR of 16-17 per cent. And the diagnostics industry in India is currently valued at $4 billion, with the share of the organised sector at almost 25 per cent in this segment (15 per cent in labs and 10 per cent in radiology).
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