Driven by growing incidence of lifestyle diseases and rising demand for affordable healthcare delivery systems, India's healthcare market is experiencing 22-25 percent growth in medical tourism and the industry is expected to double its size from the present (April 2017) $3-$6 billion by 2018. There is a significant growth in enhancing healthcare services as the spending is on a (percentage of GDP) rise. With the increase in the future trends, 70 percent of rural India is set to emerge as a potential demand hub. India's healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing sectors and in next 10 years, it is expected to reach $275 billion.
The country has also become one of the leading destinations for high-end diagnostic services with tremendous capital investment for advanced diagnostic facilities, thus catering to a greater proportion of the population. Amid this impressive progress, the diagnostic industry has emerged as a prominent game changer in the country. It's been rightly said by Martin H. Fischer, “Diagnosis is not the end, but the beginning of practice”.
The availability of good diagnostics is central not only to the treatment but also to both prevention and control of diseases. Today, innovation in diagnostics can bring the significant patient and economic benefits. Technologies that are faster, cheaper, more accurate, portable, user-friendly and easily connected with healthcare systems, have the potential to increase productivity and improve healthcare pathways resulting in better results for customers.
India's diagnostics landscape is witnessing a paradigm shift especially in the way services are delivered by its skilled manpower. There is an immense scope in diagnostics, as all patients like to be well informed and would want to undergo timely treatment of diseases, seek constructive second opinions and continue to demand better experiences. With an increase in the emergence of new and more diagnostic centers, awareness and requirement of trained professionals become a necessity. Bridging the skill gap will help provide and foster new possibilities for all those engaged in changing the face of this industry. Organizations today are focusing on increasing the competitiveness of their workforce by up-skilling and re-skilling employees.
With the rise in services and technology across the diagnostic sector, new work opportunities are emerging with a focus on hiring the new generation and their ideas. There are demands for regulatory professionals with international exposure; students studying abroad can also explore new opportunities here. As the demand for collection and home care professionals is on the rise, individual growth can be accounted for here. When we look into career opportunities, there are various jobs available to get into the industry; some of them are listed below:
a) Medical Data Manager: The Big Data revolution is happening in healthcare nowadays, providing scientists with a priceless opportunity to quickly collect and analyze vast amounts of information. This means that good medical database managers will never find themselves without a job.
b) Genetic Consultant: Conducts primary and scheduled genetic analysis in a diagnostic center, processes data from diagnostic devices, and provides an opinion and further treatment recommendations. The genetic analysis allows for the identification of cancer markers, diagnosis of hereditary diseases, determination of the specifics of a patient's metabolism, and study of diseases caused by bacterial infections.
c) Bioinformatician: In case of unusual development of a disease, builds a computer simulation of the biochemical processes of the disease to understand its root cause.
d) Medical Marketing Expert: Specialist researching markets in pharmacology, medical services, and medical equipment; develops marketing policies for companies and research centers.
e) R&D Manager In Healthcare: Specialist providing communication between research, diagnostic, treatment and prevention institutions and managing cooperation programs and joint projects.
f) Molecular Nutrition Expert: Specialist developing tailored diets based on molecular food analysis, taking into account the results of the genetic analysis of the patient and the specifics of their physiological processes.
g) Gene Therapy Expert: Specialist in genome programming to predetermined parameters. Gene therapy (alteration of the human genetic apparatus to fight diseases) has been growing at an incredible pace in the past decade. There are cross-professional skills which are required as well in the diagnostic field like systems thinking, intersectoral communications, project management, programming/ robotics/AI, client focus, multilingual and multicultural abilities, interpersonal skills for effective team building, lean production, environmental thinking are some of the qualities which can help deliver seamless customer experiences.
In a few years from now, access to information, knowledge, and self-diagnosis will improve dramatically aided by AI and non-invasive medical/diagnostic tools. Technologies like AI will help in the diagnosis of illnesses even more accurately and reduce the chances of human error. With persistent themes such as increasing globalization and advancing technological innovation, the diagnostics industry is advancing at a rapid pace. This trend bodes well for students who are seeking global opportunities and career advancement in the niche areas this lab world sector has to offer.
Zoya Brar, Founder & CEO
An alumnus of Lady Sriram College, Zoya Brar previously worked with Google for two years before founding CORE Diagnostics. A young and dynamic entrepreneur as well as an avid reader of prose and poetry, Zoya is also an occasional blogger