The recently concluded India Medtech Expo 2023 at Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat witnessed a remarkable moment when Mrs. Nisha Johari, the Managing Director of Johari Digital, took the stage as an industry specialist. In her inspiring address, she shared insights from her four decades in the medical technology business and shed light on the significant strides made by India in this field. Her words resonated with the audience as she discussed the evolution of medical technology in India and the challenges and opportunities it presents.
Pioneering Medical Technology in India:
Mrs. Johari began her address by reflecting on her journey in the medical technology business, which began 40 years ago. At that time, India was still unfamiliar with concepts like US FDA approvals, and medical technology primarily relied on imports. However, her company, Johari Digital, achieved a significant milestone by securing the first US FDA 510K in 1979, thereby laying the foundation for medical technology innovation in India.
Rising to Challenges:
Navigating the complex landscape of producing quality medical technology while complying with rigorous regulatory standards was not without its challenges. Mrs. Johari commended the growing number of medical parks in India, a testament to the country’s commitment to innovation and quality. These parks have enabled India to transition from being an importer of medical technology to a producer.
Saving Lives and Impacting Communities:
Mrs. Johari’s speech took an emotional turn when she highlighted her collaboration with the Gates Foundation. Their joint efforts focused on developing affordable neonatal CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) ventilators to reduce neonatal deaths. This project aims to make a significant impact, potentially saving 3.2 million lives in India’s tribal areas.
Additionally, she mentioned another company working on a revolutionary diagnostic device capable of detecting malaria, sickle cell disease, and COVID-19 in just 15 minutes. The accuracy and speed of this device could be a game-changer in early diagnosis and treatment, especially in resource-limited settings.
Making in India for the World:
One notable aspect of Mrs. Johari’s address was her emphasis on “Make in India.” She stressed the importance of producing medical technology not only for the Indian market but also for the global market, provided it remains affordable. This approach has already saved thousands of children below the age of five through early diagnosis and intervention.
Mrs. Johari also highlighted India’s growing capabilities in minimal invasive care, particularly in the field of endoscopy. India is now working with leading global endoscopy manufacturers, providing design and assembly solutions. This exemplifies the nation’s potential as a hub for high-quality medical technology manufacturing.
The Role of Digital Innovation:
The future of healthcare, according to Mrs. Johari, lies in digital innovation. She discussed the increasing demand for portable and wearable devices with AI and IoT capabilities for remote patient monitoring. These devices have the potential to revolutionize healthcare by providing real-time data and early warning scores, enhancing the patient and healthcare provider experience.
The Need for Regulatory Harmonization:
While celebrating India’s progress in the medical technology sector, Mrs. Johari also highlighted a significant challenge: regulatory compliance. She urged the government to harmonize Indian regulations, such as CDSCO (Central Drugs Standard Control Organization), with global regulatory agencies like the US FDA and MDSAP (Medical Device Single Audit Program). This harmonization would streamline processes, reduce delays, and boost the credibility of Indian manufacturers.
Mrs. Nisha Johari’s address at the India Medtech Expo showcased the incredible journey of the Indian medical technology industry. From humble beginnings, it has grown into a force to be reckoned with, thanks to visionary leaders like Mrs. Johari and companies like Johari Digital. Her message of innovation, affordability, and global competitiveness serves as a beacon of hope for the future of healthcare in India and beyond. With continued dedication and collaboration, the Indian medical technology sector is poised to make even greater strides, improving the lives of countless individuals and communities worldwide.