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Omron Creating Awareness on Preventive Care

OMRON Healthcare India is a player in the home health monitoring segment in the country and appointed Hisao Masuda as the new MD for its India Operation, last year in June. Being associated with Omron for last three years, he brings with himself a vast managerial foundation from the health, pharma and chemical sectors. He has served as COO with LTT Bio-Pharma, Japan. Omron MD, Masuda, in an interaction with Ekta Srivastava, Healthtechnology.in, shares his vision on taking Omron to next level in India

How do you plan to change the business growth of Omron Healthcare in India?

Preventive care plays a key role in the overall healthcare of individuals and India continues to be one of the key markets of Omron healthcare. Over the last few years we have focused on building our product awareness in the region.

In the next phase of development, we would like to focus on creating awareness about preventive care in the country and dive deep into Tier II and Tier III cities to further strengthen our position as the leading preventive healthcare company in India.Currently, we are the leading player in Indian market for Blood Pressure Monitors and Nebulizers, w.r.t. both- volume and market share. We recognize the potential that India offers as a market and are focusing on growing the business aggressively. Our target for the next 3 years is market penetration and increase share of market.

How you foresee the Indian Medical manufacturing market? What is your roadmap ahead?

As per USIBC (US Business Council) -the Indian Medical device market is expected to grow to $ 7billion by 2016,being one of the largest markets in Asia.India has made considerable strides in developing innovative industries across a number of sectors and maintains strong potential to do the same in the medical devicesegment

We believe that there is a need for a collaborative effort through public private partnership to develop facilities for better healthcare.

With the marketplace going online, consumers have access to a multitude of products and services. As preventive healthcare catches up with consumers across the country, there is an increasing demand for wearable medical devices including blood pressure monitor, step counter etc. This change in consumption pattern will continue to gain momentum in 2016.

Our area of focus has been the Tier II/III cities as there has been a rise in awareness in this segment. Tier II and III cities are witnessing over 20 per cent growth as compared to only 15% in key metros. Omron, last year launched an integrated brand and marketing campaign titled ‘Gift a care’, underpinning the idea of how children today can take care of their parents, despite working in a different city.

In order to do so we will be aggressively looking at e-commerce, telehealth and network expansion in the country. Shift to ecommerce is unavoidable in India, with a growth of over 50 per cent. Besides, it also expands the brand reach geographically, enabling accessibility across newer tier I & II cities.                                                                                                                                       Currently, we have partnership with few leading E-commerce sites like Amazon and Flipkart in India, and we offer exclusive products (models) for sale on these platforms.E-commerce contributed 10 per cent of the total sales volume in 2015 and we expect this to reach up to 25 per cent of our total sales by FY18-19.

Who do you see as your competitors? Any particular plan to move ahead of them in the market?

We understand the needs of our consumers and create an offering that adds value to their life. With the app ecosystem catering to everyday needs of the consumer, it is important to address healthcare issues and provide information and advice to adopt a preventive approach. We, at Omron are looking at aggressively exploring the telehealth market with specific apps that will connect our devices and provide general health suggestions to the patients using the Omron monitoring devices, basis their readings. It adds a new paradigm in healthcare, where the patient is monitored between physician office visits. A vast country with a population over 1.2 billion, needs accessible and affordable healthcare services.

This move will help the ecosystemas Omron will overcome barriers in tier III and remote areas and engage patients, while helping them to improve their quality of life with real time monitoring and assistance.

It is one thing to have objectives on a manifesto, another to actually convert them into goals and work towards it. Do you think the government is doing enough to provide better healthcare services to the average Indian?

With this year’s budget announcements we can surely say that the government has taken a lot of things in consideration and worked towards improvement. With specialfocuson the social sectors including health and higher allocation and spending to boost universal healthcare shows their intention to convert announcements into goals.

On an overall level, the government has introduced measures to ease implementation and development through the PPP model, but there is a need to initiate specific partnerships to upgrade healthcare infrastructure beyond urban areas. There is a clear need to focus on preventive healthcare in order to decrease the mortality rate and disease burden of the country

Make in India is the new rage. How can medical manufacturers benefit from it?

Imports account for about 80 percent of total medical device ales in India including advanced machines. A few months ago, the government raised import duty on medical devices used for surgical, dental and veterinary use from 5 percent to 7.5 percent. This was done to encourage companies in India to manufacture these products and thus bolsterthe Make in India program. The government must work towards improving regulatory and product registration process, to make the process hassle free, short and more transparent.

How can a PPP be a better alternative to fully owned governmental healthcare schemes? Do you see the PPP initiatives as more efficient at delivery of services?

The policy goal of PPP in healthcare would be to bring out the synergies in key stakeholderinterests between the public and private sector and at the same time have a strong regulatorymechanism of maintaining quality along with equity in service.

The government has introduced measures to ease implementation and development through the PPP model, but there is a need to initiate specific partnerships to upgrade healthcare infrastructure beyond urban areas

Telemedicine and wearable devices are the way forward, globally. How do you think India fares there, and what do you think should be done to meet global standards of adaptation?

Telehealth is a combination of health services with digital information and communication technologies. The patient can monitor their health by connecting the monitoring device with the health app. Based on the readings; the app will store patient’s reading data andsuggest recommendations to manage patient’s health better.  It will also suggestthe patient, when to visit the doctor, depending on the health readings. Preventive healthcare and home monitoring will pick up pace with telehealth.

The initiative stated by the government- ‘Sehat’ (Social Endeavour for Health and Telemedicine) runs common service center to empower rural citizens by providing access to information, knowledge, skills and other services in various sectors through the intervention of digital technology.


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