What Makes India's Fertility Industry One of the Best in the World
For over a decade India has been among the top medical tourism destinations. The country has achieved commendable advances in genetic sciences and cutting-edge technology and has continued to develop world-class infrastructure.
Add that a vast pool of experienced doctors, medical professionals, and cost-effective quality care, and the attraction is obvious.
According to International Healthcare and Research Centre data, India holds the fifth place in the Medical Tourism Index globally and second in Asia. The total number of accredited facilities in India is over 275, and its high-end healthcare system also boasts of a robust accreditation system. All our top hospitals have made huge investments in the latest technology to support medical diagnostics, procedures, and operative techniques.
According to CII, the primary reason that attracts medical travel to India is treatment from accredited facilities at par with developed countries at much lower cost. Treatment costs in India start at around one-fifth of the price of comparable treatment in the United States or the United Kingdom.
Fertility treatments are one of the sought-after services contributing to India’s total global medical tourism tally. IVF or in-vitro fertilization feature among the most common fertility treatment used by hopeful parents struggling with infertility.
IVF - The India attraction
India’s fertility treatment landscape has improved significantly over the years grabbing the world’s attention. Indian doctors are one the most acclaimed all over the world, and the same holds true for the fertility specialists practicing in India. They have vast experience and specialized training from India and abroad, with proven track records for efficiency in diagnosing and treating complex fertility disorders. Most are also members of prestigious national and international health organizations and have received awards and accolades for their contributions in this field.
India also boasts of advanced technology and latest equipment and infrastructure at par with any global fertility center. And the treatment costs are a fraction of what the global centers demand. The cost of IVF treatment in India usually ranges between 2000 USD to 3000 USD, whereas in developed countries like the US and in Europe, it is around 10,000 to 15,000 USD for the basic IVF cycle.
The fertility policies in India are quite inclusive, and do not restrict aspirants from taking any fertility treatments. While they do not restrict egg/sperm donation, preservation, genetic testing, etc., fertility clinics and hospitals are motivated to follow the laws and other ICMR guidelines that protect the confidentiality of donors and receivers.
As most fertility specialists, consultants, and caregivers in India can communicate in English, it makes it easier for patients and their families to have a better understanding of the treatment and they feel safer.
The IVF opportunity
With the increase in penetration and availability of a comprehensive range of fertility services, the IVF market Is estimated to grow by 75% by the year 2026. The first IVF baby was born 42years ago, and thanks to huge advances in science and technology, ART or Assisted Reproductive Technology has contributed in a big way towards the IVF industry. Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, machine learning (ML), and cloud, among others, have provided new opportunities for ART treatments to develop.
According to recent studies, India has over 1750 IVF clinics that provide over250,000 cycles in a year. Increasing awareness about fertility treatments and easy accessibility to various IVF treatment options have given the required boost to the fertility industry in India. And keeping in step, fertility clinics and hospitals have leveraged technology and available people skills to develop new methods to achieve even better success rates. With a focus on building world-class infrastructure, leveraging technology, training and skill-building, and seamless user experience, India has the potential to become a leader in medical tourism in the world.
The way ahead
The sector is buoyant with growth potential as it has been registering a steady 14% CAGR (Compounded Annual Growth Rate) and is expected to reach USD 1453 million by 2026. The fertility market in India with its near-equal incidences of both male and female infertility is steadily growing as Indians are opening to the need for medical addressal of infertility. Among hospitals, surgical centers, and fertility clinics, it is the specialized fertility clinics that is witnessing a faster rate of growth owing to availability and accessibility of different services related to IVF such as infertility treatment, IVF/ICSI programs, egg donation, and sperm donation among others. In addition, fertility clinics also provide technologically advanced and a wide range of fertility treatments under a single roof for patients.
Global fertility chains offering super-specialty treatment are becoming the hallmark of service standards in India. Introduction of latest and globally at-par technologies like Invicell incubators that mimics womb conditions, Xiltrix alarm system (monitoring, logging, and alarm system ensuring safety of all biological materials) and RFID based electronic 24x7 witnessing system called RI Witness (helps prevent potential errors like mismatches in the lab) is revolutionizing the sector in India and benefitting the couples in achieving their dream of parenthood.