Mega corporate transition for medical diagnostics

India’s rapidly growing service sector of medical diagnostics, currently ruled by predominantly unorganised path labs, is in for a big transition as a market and corporate-driven consolidation is tightening its grip on it.

Chaya UnnikrishnanUpdated: Wednesday, August 03, 2022, 11:09 PM IST
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Mega corporate transition for medical diagnostics | (Xinhua/File)

The neighbourhood testing labs may soon be a rare sight, as plush corporate diagnostic centres, owned and operated by top chains across the country, may beat them hands down.

India’s rapidly growing service sector of medical diagnostics, currently ruled by predominantly unorganised path labs, is in for a big transition as a market and corporate-driven consolidation is tightening its grip on it.

The compelling factors pushing the consolidation are not only the aggressive business plans of the corporate laboratory chains but also the declining business viability and competitiveness of the standalone labs. The weakening of the local market has come in the wake of the fast emerging new generation tests and sophisticated technologies, which are increasingly replacing the traditional test methods.

Going by the series of recent strategic mergers and acquisitions in the past couple of years by the existing corporate players, including SRL Diagnostics, Dr Lal’s Pathlabs, Metropolis Healthcare, Neuberg Diagnostics, as well as new corporate forays such as Lupin Diagnostics and PharmEasy in the domestic market indicate that the transition is now fast-paced.

The trend, however, is being seen as both good and bad for the patients and consumers. According to industry experts, it will obviously bring newer technologies that enable more specific and precise tests that were not accessible to tier 2 and 3 cities or the rural population so far.

It will also help introduce many new-generation preventive and predictive tests for a larger population as the bigger lab chains, which are equipped with such sophisticated disease screening technologies, can easily expand their reach to the width and breadth of the country. At the same time, the cost of the tests may go up as compared to charges at traditional settings.

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