5 key challenges in the medical device industry

Even though there is a strong demand for medical devices and a promising future, there are still challenges to overcome in the industry.

Manufacturing medical devices can be a demanding endeavour. Although there is a strong demand for these technologies and a promising future, there are still challenges to overcome. Considering public health and interest, manufacturers must comprehend these challenges and tide over them.

Inconsistent regulations

Navigating the complex regulatory environment facing the sector is one of the most widespread issues. Manufacturers frequently deal with inconsistent regulations that use varying wordings and standards. It may not always be obvious as to whether anything must adhere to a specific set of requirements or not.

It’s generally advisable to aim for the strictest regulation when there are regulatory inconsistencies, so that you can meet as many requirements as possible. Establishing a regulatory compliance committee consisting of professionals knowledgeable about pertinent legislation is also a smart idea. They should be consulted before making any decisions that will be put into action.

Union Budget 2022

Sadly, Union Budget 2022 lacks any specific declared initiatives to enhance the healthcare sector and local manufacturing, in contrast to the 2021 Budget. It was thought that the government would implement the pledged reforms and anticipated enabling policies to increase domestic medical device production. The government has no measures to promote the growth of the Indian medical device industry other than repeat its pledge from the previous year to end custom exemptions for goods that can be produced in India.

Indian government’s initiatives

The government relied on domestic producers during the increased demand for crucial goods for the nation during the COVID-19 crisis, causing the Indian medical device industry to become self-sufficient.

Four significant medical device parks were under discussion by the Indian government last year. Each of these parks planned to get a fund of about Rs 100 million. There is nothing in the budget for the fiscal year 2022–2023 that suggests the government wants to develop an indigenous medical device manufacturing industry, despite the fact that the devices were supposed to be produced by indigenous businesses in these parks, supporting the mission of self-sufficiency and manufacturing in India.

Policies for the medical industry

Supportive policies are required so that the Indian medical device industry can provide quality healthcare that is both affordable and accessible to the general public, strive to rank India among the top 5 medical device manufacturing hubs globally, and assist in ending our forced 80–85% import dependence and an ever-rising import bill of more than Rs 46,000 crore.

India will become a worldwide manufacturing powerhouse, a dependable supplier of high-quality goods in the global supply chain, and a global hub for delivering skilled labour to other countries with the right regulatory climate and support.

R&D struggles

Even more than in other industries, the creation of medical devices depends on rigorous research and development. It can take a while and it will be expensive to conduct the required clinical trials. This will slow down the time to market and reduce profitability. Adopting technologies such as cloud computing and robotic process automation is a viable answer to this problem.

Tools for cloud-based cooperation can link disjointed clinical systems, combining data from various sources to get more thorough results. Using the cloud also enables real-time data updates from all these sources, accelerating the R&D procedure. With these technologies, clinical studies will be less time-consuming and more precise, resulting in lower costs and quicker returns on investment.

Edited by Swetha Kannan