Japanese to develop low-cost surgical devices in India

Japanese  to develop low-cost surgical devices in India

Japanese to develop low-cost surgical devices in India. According to the health ministry, India currently imports 75-80 percent of surgical devices from medically advanced nations like the US, Japan, China, Britain and Singapore.

New Delhi: In a significant move designed to boost Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' campaign, a team of Japanese doctors will work with their Indian counterparts in research and development to bring down the high cost of surgical instruments by helping produce "simple and affordable devices" locally and setting up manufacturing hubs across the country.

The project is part of the MoU inked between the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Osaka University, which has set a five-year deadline for its implementation.
According to the health ministry, India currently imports 75-80 percent of surgical devices from medically advanced nations like the US, Japan, China, Britain and Singapore.
Experts who have been closely associated with the project even before it took concrete shape have emphaised that the cost of surgical devices like electrocautery generators and semi-disposable laparoscopic systems - used to facilitate surgeries - will come down by 10-15 times.
"Not just one, in fact every surgical device used is imported from medically advanced nations. May they be the coronary stents, aeotic stents, or the knee and hip joints, they all are very expensive as they are imported. Their price runs in hundreds of thousands of rupees, which pinches patients. The main aim of the MoU is to reverse this and bring down the cost to one-fourth or even less,", AIIMS Director M.C. Misra told IANS.
Noting the necessity for setting up pharmaceutical industries, Misra said that patent rights by some of the brands were the barriers.
The MoU is part of the joint statement issued by Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the former's visit to Japan.
Experts have also said that apart from manufacturing surgical devices in India, the motive is also to bring down their cost as compared to that of China where these products are cheaper but sometimes of questionable quality.
One of the reasons AIIMS has collaborated with a Japanese institution is its being a pioneer in medical technology and the country's position among the world's top medically advanced nations.
Kiyokazu Nakajima, professor, department of gastroenterological surgery at Osaka University, who is a key member of the MoU committee, said that Indian SMEs need to improve their basic technologies for manufacturing medical devices.
"Japan can be of real help in improving their basic engineering skills via technology transfer," Nakajima, who is also the principal investigator, division of Next Generation Endoscopic Intervention, told IANS over the phone from Osaka.
Beginning Jan 2015, Japan will start research work on simple medical devices so that industries in India are assisted in entering the arena. "Emphasis will be given to each device's basic performance and to finding a way to manufacture simple and affordable devices in India," Nakajima said.
Elaborating the project's procedure, Nakajima said that initially, a field team of surgeons from various departments and medical engineers will visit AIIMS early next year.
Apart from observing, they will discuss with AIIMS staff the needs of the outpatient and emergency clinics, surgical wards and operation theatres," he said, adding that if the team finds significant issues which may lead to substantial research and development in India, these will be taken back to Japan.
"The prototype, once created, will be sent to AIIMS to be evaluated by doctors in preclinical settings. Any suggestions for improvement from them will be fed back to Japanese industries."
Doctors from Osaka University will then evaluate those prototypes in Japan as well, and plan conjoined pre-clinical labs in either India or Japan.
"This preclinical phase will take at least one to two years. Regulatory and commercialisation processes will follow," Nakajima stated.
Narinder K. Mehra, dean of research at AIIMS, said that various toxicity trials and tests will be carried out on the surgical devices before they are introduced in the Indian market.
"This project is not only going to strengthen the business relations between the two nations but also uplift India's contribution to universal health coverage. From this standpoint, our project will affect the Indian economy and ultimately healthcare worldwide," Mehra, who also heads the AIIMS department of transplant immunology and immunogenetics, told IANS.
Show Full Article
Download The Hans India Android App or iOS App for the Latest update on your phone.
More Stories