‘Cardiac CT market will rise more than double in five years’

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Updated: September 09, 2016 6:17 PM

Dr Mona Bhatia, Head of Department, Radiodiagnosis and Imaging, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi talks about cardiac CT imaging scenario in India. She expounds on the needs for more radiologists specialising in this field and the urgent need for data integration, in a conversation with Raelene Kambli

Dr Mona Bhatia, Head of Department, Radiodiagnosis and Imaging, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi talks about cardiac CT imaging scenario in India. She expounds on the needs for more radiologists specialising in this field and the urgent need for data integration, in a conversation with Raelene Kambli

What kind of transformation you have seen in the field of cardiac CT and what does the future behold?

201609ehm38Dr Mona Bhatia

Cardiac CT has taken of in a big way in India only in the last five to seven years. Before that, the entire cardiac testing remained in the hands of cardiologists doing the invasive coronary angiogram because effectively they were looking at the stenosis and fix it. This was really an era of nuclear medicine and cardiology, both worked in sync where more emphasis was given to angiography and ischemia testing. The game changing happened when we found that CT technology grew in terms of its resolution and capabilities. Now non-invasively we could review the coronary arteries and inform patients about their proper condition, which would also help them in the management of the disease with the guidance of their cardiologists. It is actually the technological advancements in the last five to six years that have given radiologists the capabilities to read the CT to high accuracy.

Mind you that even though we have technological advancements in the country, we still do not enhance machine to fulfil the growing demand. In fact, we also have a serious resource crunch in terms of trained Cardiac CT radiologists.

Doctor you have pointed out about serious resource and equipment crunch. What is the demand for cardiac CT imaging like? Is the demand growing?

We are a country with a population of around 1.3 billion and there is a growing incidence of cardiovascular diseases. The sad part is that people are being detected with CVDs at a very young age. So, a country with a younger population, screening them is vital. We need to prevent coronary heart diseases in India. For this, our aim should be to access the risk in maximum number of people so that prevention can begin at an early stage.

In India, how many cardiac CTs do we have as compared with the demand?

We have less than 1,000 cardiac capable CTs and the demand is huge. Taking into account that 50 per cent of our population is young, I feel the demand will only increase.

How many radiologists in India practice cardiac CT imaging?

I think less than 300-400 radiologists in India specialise in Cardiac CT. It is less in number compared to the demand.

Where does India stand as compared to other emerging cardiac imaging market?

The world looks upon India in a big way. We have the volume and data. But the problem in our country is that the data is not captured in a systematic way. So this is a big barrier for us to understand our actual problem. India currently requires a concerted effort by all stakeholders to consolidate the available data. It has to be a multi-hospital, multiple centre, which collate ethnic data and then start analysing it to get more clarity on India-specific information. Most of the information available is based on the US data, which most of the time stands inappropriate for Indian people.

How can we integrate data?

I think if the IT sector works with the healthcare sector, integrating data will become easy and also protected.

Will integrating also create a risk of cyber-crimes?

No. I don’t think that this will give rise to cyber-crimes, as this data will be cyber secured.

Where do you see the cardiac imaging sector in the next five years in India?

The cardiac CT sector is on an exponential rise in India. Patients have started to become more aware of the choices they have. Also, patients are looking for more non-invasive methods to diagnosis. I feel this will change more within the sector. The market will rise more than double in the next five years. The other thing is that the number of cardiac cases will rise which will in turn open more business opportunities for the cardiac CT market players.

raelene.kambli@expressindia.com

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