Diagnostics Careers and Jobs in India

Healthcare is a very important segment of human lives. It has also become one of the largest industries in India in terms of revenues. Even from the career and job perspectives, the healthcare domain is one of the most significant and lucrative sectors to work in. There are primarily three major segments in healthcare and medicine – preventive medicine, therapeutics and diagnostics.

Preventive medicine or care involves routine check-ups, immunization or screening when an individual is symptom free and healthy (at least by clinical definition). Preventive care includes diabetes screening (blood glucose test), lipid profiling (cholesterol check), cancer screening, vaccinations etc. Preventive care gives you and your doctor a snapshot of your current health, and helps to prevent against future illness.

Therapeutic interventions (or therapeutics) refer to the treatment of disease or disorders by medicinal drugs and/or methods (say surgery). Diagnostics or diagnostic care is what an individual undergoes when s/he has got symptom or risk factors and the doctor/physician wants to diagnose them.

Diagnostics involve tests/procedures ordered by a physician and office visits needed to help diagnose or monitor a clinical condition or disease. Diagnostic care is basically a follow up of an issue from an irregular test result, an existing illness, injury or health problem already being treated by your doctor like diabetes, COPD, allergies, and more.

Among all these three segments, diagnostics is usually the first step to disease and healthcare management. Sometimes, it overlaps with preventive care as well.Suppose someone ha got a family history of colorectal-cancer. If that person undergoes routine test to check for early signs of cancer in accordance with age-based guidelines or family history, that is a preventive care. If that person develops a polyp (small clump of cells due to abnormal growth – usually visible to the naked eye as an abnormal swollen area), the doctor will advise the person to undergo few tests. These tests are diagnostic tests. Know more about the differences between preventive care and diagnostic care.
 

Diagnostics Careers and Jobs in India

 

Introduction to Diagnostics

The field of diagnostics can be classified in two major categoriesin vivo diagnostics and in vitro diagnostics.

The in vivo segment (can also be termed as the Radiology segment) includes the medical imaging procedures such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound scanning, sonography, X-Ray, mammography, positron emission topography (PET), colonoscopy, Computer Axial Tomography (CT scan) etc. The in vivo tests (can also be termed as the Pathology segment) are performed directly on a human body (patient).

The in vitro diagnostic tests involve processing and investigation of biological samples, collected directly from the patient, such as blood, urine, saliva, tissues, faces etc. The human samples are analysed in a laboratory setting to detect and quantify the presence of a specific biological marker (biomarker). A biomarker could be a circulating protein, pathogen, electrolyte and even genetic mutation.

For further reading: List of Top 10 Diagnostic Tests

The in vitro market is the larger of the two diagnostics market segments. As per the market research report ofKen Research, pathology testing is the first line of diagnosis for the majority of diseases in India.

According to Business Standard and few other sources, almost 70% of the diagnostics market is being dominated by the pathology (in vitro) segment.

Within the in vitro (pathology) segment, the measurement of the biomarker is usually achieved by one of the two types of commercial products – a standardized laboratory developed test (LDT) or anin vitro diagnostic test, device or kit (IVD).
 

Comparison of IVD vs LDT
Comparison of IVDs & LDTs (Source: Biotechnology Entrepreneurship: Starting, Managing and Leading Biotech Companies)

 
LDTs are in vitro diagnostic assays, developed and validated by individual labs for use in the restricted facility only, and subjected to Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA). On the other hand, IVDs are developed by pharma-biotech companies or diagnostic device manufactures for commercial distribution globally, and subjected to the review by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other authorities.
 
Diagnostic application IVDs
Image Source: Biotechnology Entrepreneurship: Starting, Managing and Leading Biotech Companies

 

Diagnostics Market and Career Scope in India

The biotech-healthcare industry in India is doing very well recently, and currently on an exponential growth trajectory. At present, the Indian biotechnology industryis valued about $11.6 billion currently and expected to touch the $ 100 billion mark by 2025 as per the forecast of the Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE).

The Indian biotechnology sector can be classified into 5 major segments – bio-pharma, bio-services, bio-agriculture, bio-industry and bio-informatics. The biopharma segment deals in biopharmaceuticals, therapeutics and diagnostics. The healthcare industry is currently pegged at USD 100 billion (IBEF), and is likely to grow at a CAGR of 23% to US$ 280 billion by 2020. EvenRNCOSreported similar figures – INR 860 Billion in revenues by 2020.
 

Biotechnology Industry in India Statistics
Biotechnology Industry in India (Image Source: IBEF)

 
The recent spike in the pace of growth in healthcare and biotechnology industry can be attributed to the contributions from the diagnostics sector. In India, there are no strict governing laws to check the quality of healthcare services. The private players took this opportunity and introduced standardized methods and practices that comply with the international regulations. The Govt. of India also deserves some kudos as the Narendra Modi led Govt. chalked out the universal health plan.

With time, India has also become one of the leading destinations for medical tourism and high-end diagnostic services in South-East Asia, with tremendous capital investment for advanced diagnostic facilities. As per the article on Business Standard, the universal health plan that the government aims to offer, is expected to cost an estimated INR 1.6 trillion (USD 23.72 billion) over the next four years. By therapeutic segment, the major share is held by biochemistry (38%), followed by immunology (23%), haematology (15.8%), critical care, urine routine, others, microbiology and coagulation. Though the pathology segment dominates the Indian market, the field of diagnostic radiology segment is rapidly expanding.

There have been some pitfalls as there are many unorganized players in this market, especially in the tier 2 and tier 3 cities in India. These unorganised, standalone players, which form a substantial part of this fragmented market, and have been successful in catering to the diagnostic needs of tier 2 and tier 3 cities, where almost every area has local and generic diagnostic laboratory, particularly dealing in pathology services.

But, if you look at the brighter side, there are enough career and job opportunities. If you are ambitious enough, there is ample opportunity set up you own diagnostics venture and taste commercial success.
 

Impact of Automation on Diagnostics Jobs

As the world is on the brink of the 4th industrial revolution, we are witnessing radical impact on jobs and employment due to the technological disruption (automation, machine learning, and robotics).

According to the World Economic Forum, the world will lose 5 million jobs by 2020. India has already started facing the heat as the job-cuts and layoffs took the centre stage in the Indian job market in 2017 (read this).

However, it must be remembered that the robots and automation are primarily taking away the boring and mundane human jobs. Diagnostics jobs are highly skilled ones, and also require specialist knowledge along with the handling of sophisticated instruments. It’s not that diagnostics jobs do not involve any repetitive tasks. But, a complete replacement of the human workforce by robots is not going to happen any soon.

As per the recent study by the Deakin University, diagnostics and advanced scientific jobs will see a negative impact of automation on employment. In fact, these areas are likely to experience high job growth. Additionally, if coupled with technology, diagnostics domain (both radiology and pathology) can create more job opportunities.

As of now, simple blood tests and genetic screenings are being automated. Sooner or later, the complicated tests will also get automated. I guess we are looking at a timeline of 15 years from now.

My Verdict

Robots and automation will not take away the diagnostics jobs from humans too soon; but be careful and stay updated with the technological advancements.

Diagnostics is a multi-billion dollar industry and one of those domains where significant cost reduction is possible while improving efficiency and accuracy by using robots and automation. For example, at Thyrocare (Mumbai), 100,000 diagnostic tests are performed every evening, and the reports get delivered within 24 hours of sample collected from the patient. So, as you can imagine, the field does need automation and technological disruption. Hence, if you are one of those folks who like to disrupt the market using technology, you might want to look at the diagnostics sector.

You might also like to read: The optimist’s guide to the robot apocalypse
 

Key Factors Responsible for Growing Number of Diagnostics Jobs in India

  • Hectic schedules, stress and complex lifestyles
  • Prevalence of severe diseases (particularly diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disorders and infectious diseases) across the urban population
  • Increasing awareness among the educated people
  • Fragmented market and limited presence of organized players across the country
  • Evolution of the Healthcare-IT industry
  • Emergence of big data in the healthcare domain
  • Rising penetration of private medical insurance plans

 

Top Diagnostics Companies in India (not listed in any particular order)

  • SRL Diagnostics (tied up with Fortis Healthcare & Hospitals)
  • Dr Lal PathLabs
  • Abott
  • Quest Diagnostics
  • Thyrocare
  • Metropolis Healthcare Limited
  • Thermo Fisher
  • Siemens
  • Roche Diagnostics
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • BioMerieux
  • Beckman Coulter
  • Apollo Diagnostics
  • BSR Healthcare
  • Medall Healthcare
  • Oncquest Laboratories Limited
  • Suburban Diagnostics
  • Vijaya Diagnostic Center
  • BD
  • Lucid Medical Diagnostics
  • PathCare
  • Star Imaging & Path Lab Pvt. Ltd.
  • Atulya Healthcare
  • Suraksha, Express Clinics
  • Krsnaa Diagnostics
  • Cryogenex Diagnostics Pvt. Ltd.
  • Dang’s Lab
  • KMCH
  • Reliance Life Sciences
  • Beacon India
  • Omega Diagnostics
  • Piramal Diagnostics

 

Best Education options for a career in Diagnostics

 

For Pathology (in vitro) career path

  • Biomedical science with specialization in Biochemistry, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Clinical Chemistry, Diagnostics
  • Pharmacy (Pharmaceutical Sciences) followed by specialization in Analytical Chemistry or Diagnostics
  • MBBS followed by specialization in Biochemistry, Pathology, Haematology, Molecular Diagnostics or Clinical Medicine

 

For Radiology (in vivo) career path

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomedical Science along with specialization in Medical Imaging, Bio-Mechanics or Bio-Physics
  • Sc. in Radiography
  • MBBS followed by specialization in Radiology or Medical Imaging

 

Recommended Reading:

Education, Careers and Jobs in Biomedical Science

Education, Careers and Jobs in Biomedical Engineering

 

Average Salary (Core Diagnostics; Sales, Business Development, Accounts and IT roles are excluded)

  • Entry Level: INR 15,000 to 25,000 per month
  • Mid-Career Professionals (3 – 5 years of experience): INR 480,000 to 720,000 per annum
  • Senior Professionals (5 – 9 years of experience): INR 600,000 to 1,600,000 per annum

 
Medical Radiologists (MBBS graduates with PG specialization) and Senior Pathologists (with foreign degree in biomedical sciences – MS/PhD) can earn INR 130,000 to 190,000 per month with 4 – 6 years of experience under their belts.

Sources: PayScale, NaukriHub&Glassdoor
 

Best Programs for a Career in Diagnostics

 

 
If you need professional guidance with higher education, career and job opportunities in the diagnostics space, feel free to post your query in the comment section below.


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Tanmoy Ray //
Tanmoy Ray
Tanmoy has a Pharmacy & Pharmacology background with 5 years of research experience. He has worked at the University of Oxford (UK), Utrecht University (Netherlands) and University of New South Wales (Australia).

46 Comments

  1. Torie says:

    Am Victoria from Nigeria..
    Am in my second year studying Bsc pharmacology. Please sir what can I study as my masters course because pharmacology isn’t highly recognised in my country.
    Can u please put me through on what to do after completing my Bsc.
    I really want to be successful among others. also wants to.work in Abroad..combination of a research institute and pharmaceutical companies. I need ur help
    Plz reply me soon

  2. Shamika says:

    Hello sir ,I have recently completed my M.Sc in biotechnology from Mumbai university. I intend to pursue my PhD, but thought I should first maybe work in the biotech field. My interest lies in clinical research, cancer (as my dissertation project was on PCN) and nanotechnology .I have lately applied for jobs and have gotten recommendations for medical coding,medical editing,teaching etc.my concern is if I take up one of these jobs will they be beneficial for my PhD. How do I go about it ?or should i assist on a research project instead?

  3. ch.ramya says:

    sir,
    this is ramya sir
    iam studying food science and technology,bapatla
    i want to study msc along with this b.tech.
    is it possible sir?

  4. Yamini pateriya says:

    Hello sir,
    I am Yamini pateriya,I have done bsc.biotechnology and now I am preparing for MBA biotechnology,I am a little confused after hearing other’s opinion about my field and my choice,I really want to know that the field I chose is a right one or not and also the better options in which in can earn well and improve my skills,I really want some good career options in my field prior in India & then also in abroad

  5. Shru says:

    Hii
    I have completed my B.pharma in 2015, further I am working as Regulatory Affairs executive since 2 years. I want to go abroad but don’t have guidance. I am from general middle class family and don’t want to give burden to parents. Is there any scope in the field I am currently working? What else I can do to migrate there?

    Thankyou

  6. Anushri Birla says:

    Hi tanmay
    I have completed Msc in Biotechnology, do not want to pursue research or related fields..how can i look up for industrial sector jobs in biotechnology or food technology..are there any job oriented training programs ..specifically if you have any idea for Mumbai location

  7. Manali says:

    Hello Sir, good evening. I am pursuing B.Pharm and its the final year. Can you tell me that how to score the good percentage in the final year?
    I want to settled in USA on the next year. I had interested in hospital pharmacy as a hospital pharmacist, but now I have changed my decision due to less salary in India. So can I join in medical coding as a pharmacist?
    I also wish to pursue the masters or post baccalaureate in pharmacy. And I have interested in bio medical science too(if possible). So I would like to know more information of above mentioned subjects and also want to know about the maximum age , as I already crossed the 30.
    Please Sir reply me through my email id.
    Thank You Sir

  8. Rashmeet says:

    Hello sir,
    Sir I am a bsc biotechnology pass out.. I have completed my graduation this year.. After not getting selected in any of the msc courses.. I have started preaparing for the business school exams. having science background and knowing nothing about business am I doing justice to what I have done in past three years.. Its not that I am not liking the thought of mba.. But I am not sure wether I will excel in it or not.. I am feeling lost.. I hope if you can help me and suggest what I am doing is right or not and how will my biotech background will help me in corporate world.. With no work experience in any of the companies.

    • Tanmoy Ray says:

      Hi Rashmeet,

      I would suggest you gather some work experience before opting for an MBA program. Alternatively, you could also go for MSc programs abroad.

  9. SHUBHAM BANERJI says:

    Hi! I am Shubham. I am pursuing B-TECH in food technology from Techno India Salt lake, Kolkata. I am simultaneously preparing for GATE examinations too.
    My query is that should I opt for higher studies in India or go for whatever job I get in on campus? (considering only a few indian companies like( ITC, BRITANNIA,etc) come for recruitment.). Will my scope improve if I do M-tech?
    2nd question: If i wanna opt for a job in an international company abroad, what should be my course of action and which country should I choose?

    • Tanmoy Ray says:

      Hi Shubham,
      Whether to go for a job or M.Tech., it depends on your immediate career goals. So, it’s a little bit hard for me to answer here.
      Regarding your second query, it would be better if you go for a Masters degree abroad. If you are keen for R&D, QC & QA jobs, go for a Masters after your Bachelors. If you want to go for Marketing & Branding jobs, it’s better to do an MBA. In the latter case, do work for at least 3 years in India.

  10. Pallab Kumar Pal says:

    Hi Tanmoy Ray,
    I am doing M.Pharm in Pharmaceutics from West Bengal University of Technology. Now I am doing my second year project from Defence research lab, DRDO, Assam. 1. If I get chances for doing PhD( as JRF ) will it be right to work here? Because I ultimately want to work in a research and development(Analytical).
    2. If I don’t do it right now will I get chances for PhD from my R and D experience?
    3. If M.Pharm is valid abroad I want to research there. I am GPAT qualified.
    I got 88% in masters(till 2nd semester,2017),
    78% in B.Pharm, 82% in higher secondary and 83% in Secondary exam. I can’t decide what should I do. Please help me sir.

    • Tanmoy Ray says:

      Hi Pallab,
      If you get an opportunity to work as a JRF or SRF, do go ahead. You can always go for a PhD after working as a Research Fellow.
      Regarding job opportunities abroad, you will need to obtain a degree abroad. You could either go for an MS, MRes or Ph.D. degree after your M.Pharm. Alternatively, work for 2 – 3 years as Research Fellow, and go for a PhD abroad.

  11. Jaya Shastri says:

    Hey tanmoy,
    This is jaya, and i am in 5th Sem pursuing b.sc. Biotechnology, I am very much interested in genetics but people say there is no scope in genetics and I don’t like biochemistry. So, I want to know what should I do… I also want to do p.hd. And I want to earn good amount of money ..
    Please help.

    • Tanmoy Ray says:

      Hi Jaya,
      If you are really passionate about Genetics, you necessarily don’t need to pay heed to what others are saying. Genetics has got good career scopes.
      For better career opportunities in the field of genetics, foreign countries are better options. You could consider doing your Master’s or Ph.D. from Europe, USA or Canada.

  12. Shobha says:

    Hello sir my name is shobha i have worked 4yrs with analytical r&d with a good reputed pharma but left job due to kids but now want to join again after a long break and further looking to work abroad so can you plz guide me how is this possible.

  13. VARUN SHETH says:

    Hii tanmoy sir,
    i have completed m.pharm pharmaceutics and working in a pharma industry as a QA i want to make my career in germany as a industrial pharmacy so what are the criteria and additional qualification required to crack an oppurtunity in germany..waiting for your reply soon

    • Tanmoy Ray says:

      Hi Varun,
      You could apply for the Job Search visa from India, and go to Germany (please make sure to know the German language B2/C1 level). Alternatively, earn a Master’s degree from Germany, and work after finishing the course.
      Let me know if you have got any further queries.

  14. Sushmita says:

    Hello Sir,
    I am In the final year of M.Sc. Biotechnology. I am not much interested in research. I am planning to do some biotech management courses in US. Can you tell me if I will get job after management in India or in Abroad? Do I need work experience to do a management course?
    Thanks and Regards,
    Sushmita

    • Tanmoy Ray says:

      Hi Sushmita,
      It would be a good idea to get some work experience before going for a Management degree.
      Job opportunities are there, but the amount of salary will be dictated by your work experience.

  15. Neha says:

    Hi Tanmoy Ray,
    I have completed M.sc in Bioetchnology from CCS university, Meerut in 2014. Right now, i am working in an institute as a counselor which provide distance learning courses in Life science & Pharmaceutical field. I want to change my job, please suggest me in which area i can try. I don’t have so much practical knowledge but i have little bit interest in that area. Should i first do any training course.
    Please also suggest me scope of biotechnology

  16. Lina says:

    Hello.. Sir
    I have completed my MTech in Industrial Biotechnology, now I’m planning to do PhD. Can you suggest me which fields in biotechnology will be good for future.

    • Tanmoy Ray says:

      Hi Lina,
      That depends on your interests and project experience. It would be helpful if you share a little bit about your background.
      Thanks.

  17. Sourabh says:

    What are opportunities for molecular pathology in canada and uk after completing md pathology from india?
    Any research fellowships or phd. ?

    Kindly guide me Tanmoy sir.

  18. Hemchand Dobriyal says:

    Hi Mr. Tanmoy. I had completed my B. Pharma in 2008 but not done MBA after that. I got selected for Sales and Marketing and m presently working as Area Sales Manager in pharma company. Plz suggest me that can I apply for sales and marketing job in abroad in pharma as presently my age is 35. Plz suggest me what to do in processing.

  19. Sheetal says:

    Hi sir. Thank u for such a detailed insight into this career field..
    I’m Sheetal. I’ve done Bsc botany and Msc life sciences. I’ve also cleared NET jrf last year. I’m more inclined towards academic career however I’m confused whether to get enrolled into some university, or some good scientific institution. Many seniors suggested that universities provide a better environment to understand the academic system which proves more fruitful wen u want to apply there as a faculty. Whereas research institutes are excellent if one wants to continue in research field or labs. Some even suggested I apply for Assistant Professor somewhere, then go for PhD afterwards. Bt I think my qualifications isn’t enough to get me selected for that. My Jrf is till 2019 so I don’t have much tym to decide now..
    Please help me out.

  20. Jesika Upadhyay says:

    Hello Sir,
    I am Jesika Upadhyay. I am in class 12 now and I am interested in biotechnology. I want to do my undergraduation course on biotechnology or molecular and cellular biology from Harvard University as it is one of the top university for biotechnology or biomedical engineering . I am preparing for my SAT exams. The problem I am facing is that I dont know how to contact harvard University and send my application form. I hope you can help me. Thank you.

  21. vasugi says:

    Hello sir,
    I am Vasugi , I have completed M.Sc, Biotechnology , I want to do my higher studies in US. I dont have that much interest in research so Kindly suggest me a course regarding.thank u

  22. Pooja Rajan says:

    Hi, my name is pooja. I have completed my B.E. in biotechnology in the year 2016. 1 year I dedicated to search jobs as in internship in pharma or life sciences institutions but, failed in its attempt. Then decided to do master from abroad. My interest is in human genetics. Can u guide me as in which countries except US can provide good masters in biotechnology.

    • Tanmoy Ray says:

      Hi Pooja,
      You consider Canada, Singapore, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, Australia for Masters programs focusing on Human Genetics.

  23. Savvy says:

    Hey Tanmoy,
    I loved your article on Biomedical Sciences.
    You wrote earlier in your article that one can go for M.D. after completing a B.Sc. degree in Biomedical Sciences but I read somewhere that eligibilty for pursuing M.D. is one should necessarily have M.B.B.S degree. So how can that be possible???

    • Tanmoy Ray says:

      I had meant Fast Track MD (4 years). Few countries do allow that.
      Besides, few countries term their undergraduate Medical programs as MD (6-year), rather than MBBS.

  24. bhagyashree says:

    hello sir,i m bhagyashree recently studying in 5 sem of bsc Biotechnology…i wan to know the best career options after graduation….pls suggest me..

  25. Vani says:

    Hello sir,
    I have finished my m.tech in biotechnology by 2013.i got married and i have one kid now…i don’t have any work or research experience.can I do m.s in abroad now….i am 28 years old….am I eligible to do m.s in European countries.r straight away can I apply Ph.D. in abroad..i am totally confused…in which area there is more scope in biotechnology.can u plz help me to find correct path in my life.

    • Tanmoy Ray says:

      Hi Vani,
      You are certainly eligible for doing an MS abroad.
      For PhD in Europe, you will need at least 2 years of research experience.

  26. madhusudan says:

    Hi sir, m madhu..
    currently pursuing my final year BSc degree in foodscience and nutrition.
    i am confusd about what’s next after Bsc, nt able to deciede about should i go into clinical nutrition or foodtechnology.
    And need advice on if an MBA degree after Msc would help in this field ..and need advices on career too.

  27. Yesha says:

    Hello sir,
    I will be completing my bpharm next year and I want to go ahead with studying hospital administration in the abroad…is that a good choice? Can i directly go for that course or I have to give some examination for that as I havent done mba?

  28. akram says:

    hi sir,
    this is akram studying bsc BZC final year iam intersted to study in germany further studies which is best and better courses for msc iam not intrested to study phd after msc

  29. Siva says:

    Hi Tanmoy
    I’m looking for your help for my daughter’s bachelor study. She joined IB and wants to do research in Bio technology
    As a parent we don’t know anything about it, but we have few questions,
    – Will she continue her research after MBBS?
    – Is there any good foreign intuitions (universities) available especially for BioTech in Bachelor degree
    – What’s your best advice

    Mush appreciated your help in advance and based on your suggestion, we may plan for her future

    • Tanmoy Ray says:

      Hi Siva,
      Your daughter doesn’t necessarily need to do MBBS for making a career in biotechnology.
      There are several excellent universities abroad. So, a personalized university list is not possible to share over here.

  30. Danny says:

    Hi
    I’m Danny I’m studying Bsc Biotechnology.how can I become a geoscientist after completing my b.sc.?

    • Tanmoy Ray says:

      Hi Danny,
      You could go for an M.Sc. in Environmental Biotechnology. Additionally, I would also suggest you do few online courses on MATLAB, R or Python. Hope this helps!

  31. Binesh Narayanan says:

    Hello sir, i am a graduate in Msc genomic science from central university of kerala,since i am very intrested to do phD , i would like to clear some doubts. is this compulsory to clear TOEFL in order to apply for phd? i am having only 6.68 CGPA…can i get admission in foreign universities? my research interests are Microbial genomics,plant perception, cross species genetics.

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