Oct 24, 2016

Tips from Top - Emerging trends and advancements in the healthcare industry, Mr Biten Kathrani, Director, R&D, Boston Scientific

Mr Biten Kishore Kathrani, Director, R&D department for Asia, Middle East and Africa (AME
A) at Boston Scientific, visited IME department for a talk on “Emerging trends and advancements in the healthcare industry.” The session turned out to be extremely insightful and the audience got a lot of valuable inputs about the field of healthcare as well as the nuances of how business is done in the industry, the opportunities and the challenges that were pertinent in the industry.
Mr Kathrani began the seminar with an introduction of Boston Scientific as a company, its core values and the massive range of medical technologies that it offered. He discussed about the Indian office of Boston Scientific, its full-fledged facility with R&D along with an Advanced Science institute for surgeons training on the cutting edge technology.
There was also a brief discussion on the changing nature of healthcare industry from being a patient centric model to a transaction centric model, and with the advancement in technology, again a shift in trend to becoming patient centric. But with it arises plethora of issues to be addressed, one of them being the lack of understanding of people upon the monetization of digital services and their reluctance to pay for it.
Mr Kathrani also talked about 4As– Affordability, Awareness, Accessibility and Adaptability, which are indispensable for the industry. Out of these, the focus on Affordability – with a skewed perspective meaning “being cheap”, has led to neglect of the remaining three A’s, which in turn led to a loss of affordability as well.
There are two major shifts happening in the healthcare industry currently: decentralization – shift of delivering healthcare in hospitals to the patient’s home; and reduction in invasiveness of every relevant procedure – from making massive openings to lacerations to the use of nanotechnology for targeted delivery of medicine.
Talking of the trends in India, Mr Kathrani said that the industry is at around $90 billion with a CAGR of 15%, and it holds major potential. He related this to the growing middle class world over, and that is where the real opportunities lies as these are the people who want value based innovation to address their needs.
There was also a brief discussion about the 5 stage process followed for a successful company in healthcare sector. The stages are - Identify, Innovate, Design, Manufacture, and Deliver. The role of customer segmentation is pivotal in all the stages. Following the steps of these stages, a successful methodology for Biodesign process would be- Identify, Invent and Implement. 
Talking of challenges, Mr Kathrani said growing number of diseases, low hospital bed to patient ratio and physician to patient ratio, less prevalence of insurance cover, and the patient’s reluctance to access healthcare services were major challenges; while the key issues were cost, adapting to the market, digital innovation, and regulations & compliance.
The session ended after some discussion on the nitty-gritties of the healthcare industry and some issues it faced.



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