Dr. Gauri Agarwal, Founder & Director, Genestrings Diagnostic Centre and Seeds of Innocence
“While there may not seem to be a definite end game strategy insight for eliminating the pandemic in 2022, it is now becoming evident that those who have been fully vaccinated or infected are showing much better outcomes with mild clinical symptoms. This gives hope that we’re reaching a stage of transition from pandemic to an endemic disease stage, hopefully soon. However, 2022 seems to be having a rough start with the Omicron variant changing few predictions and timelines. India should definitely brace itself for a peak in February, however, based on findings so far, the hospitalisation rate has been low. This is a relief and hence steps to minimise transmission could go a long way. However, we’re already 2 years into the pandemic and there is an obvious fatigue amongst the masses, thus emphasis should go back to the basics with mask etiquette etc being the focus.
However, with the ongoing vaccination drive and the correct and timely decision by central government to push vaccination for young adults plus booster dose for select segments, we’re taking all the right steps. The 2nd half of 2022 gives hope that we will have a stronger line of sight of the endgame. Newer batches of booster dose and cheaper, faster testing protocol will play key roles over next 12 months though. Overall, 2022 should be the year of innovation and grassroots penetration with newer diagnostic research & development in home diagnosis, affordable & easy to implement molecular testing and digital care using IoT.
COVID-19 as we know it should become a mild flu or seasonal virus IN 12-18 months window and annual booster doses will become the norm. There are however still a lot of unknowns and a new dominant variant could again change these timelines.”
Dr. H S Chhabra, Director, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre
“With its new variants, the year 2022 will be a year of Covid once more. The year 2021 was a challenging one for India’s health sector, as the lethal second wave of coronavirus struck. As a result, an unprecedented number of people lost their lives and there was unparalleled suffering for countless others. It did, however, serve as a valuable lesson for the entire healthcare industry, leading to the resurrection and upgrading of health infrastructure in both the public and private sectors. We not only have a completely functional oxygen plant but are also now fully equipped to face new challenges, such as Omicron, with a team of experienced doctors and paramedical staff. I strongly advise everyone to take both doses of the vaccine, if already not taken. Also, continue to observe social distancing measures, wear masks, practice hand hygiene and adhere to all the guidelines issued by the Indian government.”
Dr. Aashish Chaudhry, Managing Director, Aakash Healthcare, Dwarka
“Next year will be another year of Covid, but we are fully prepared to meet any challenges that come our way. Aakash Healthcare is ready for 2022, with a solid infrastructure in place to help counteract the possibility of Covid’s third wave. Since last year, the hospital has been working in close collaboration with the government to provide critical care to COVID-19 patients in the pandemic and has earned the reputation of being one of the most sought-after centres for personalized care during COVID times. As the New Year approaches, we hope to complete the trials for the children’s Covid vaccine. As a part of our overall development and expansion plans, we will establish a World Class Bone and Joint program/hospital in Gurgaon by next year. The new venture will serve as an Orthopedics, Joint Replacement, and Spine Hospital.In addition, we intend to open a new Cancer Hospital in Dwarka. which will provide comprehensive cancer care including Radiation and BMT (Bone Marrow Transplant).
We are almost about to launch our State of the art Liver Transplant Program at our existing Dwarka Hospital, Multiple clinics, as well as Super Speciality Hospitals, are about to crop up in North India. A couple of our international projects are also in the pipeline for 2022.”
Mr. Ashok Patel, CEO and Founder, Max Ventilator(India’s leading ventilator manufacturer)
“Doctors say that the pandemic will always be there till at least 6 years. So all the businesses are prepared to deal with it. Even as Covid-19 has led to the rise of diagnostics and equipment along with an impressive rise in virtual and homecare-driven device segments, there has been an increased emphasis on making low-cost lifesaving devices such as ventilators and oxygen concentrators. Speaking especially of ventilators, from now onwards, the rule of 4 beds per ventilator will become more of a reality. With telemedicine and app-based online pharmacies becoming more of a constant surrounding our daily lives spurring innovations in related devices and equipment, the coming year will also see more action in big data, AI and machine learning-based disease prediction technologies, apart from a push to more sophisticated surgical devices meant for a range of conditions such as neurological, cardio-vascular, oncological, orthopedic or musculosketal conditions. However I must add that for AI-based ventilators to become a reality, more time would be needed. While make-in-India has gained momentum with the view to become more self-reliant, the Chinese products have received a setback. This means that quality will determine the entry of new products and more rigorous quality checks will increasingly become a norm. The coming year will also see major investment and focus on medical device components and parts in the country. At the same time, given the surging omicron cases outside India and a repeat of the same not totally being out of question in India, Covid-related devices and equipment will continue to remain a focus of attention of manufacturers in the country in the coming year.”