Although cardio-vascular diseases were emerging as the single most common cause for death in India, the understanding of heart failure was still relatively low both among people as well as healthcare professionals.

Roche, a leading research-focussed healthcare provider with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, has decided to focus on penetrating its cutting edge heart disease biomarker NT-proBNP into the Indian market.

The company introduced the new technology capable of detecting patients' susceptibility to cardio-vascular diseases even before the symptoms are out in labs and large corporate hospitals across the country. It will soon deploy handheld systems used for detection of heart related ailments to cater to rural markets.

Announcing the company's plans here on Thursday, Roche Diagnostics India Pvt Limited chairman and managing director Bhuwnesh Agarwal said though cardio-vascular diseases were emerging as the single most common cause for death in India, the understanding of heart failure was still relatively low both among people as well as healthcare professionals.

The company had, therefore, decided to focus in this direction to create awareness in this direction by introducing the new technology which would reduce side effects and optimise treatment costs.The primary application of NT-proBNP, an inactive protein with long half life, involved a one time test with average price around Rs. 2,500 and it was a more sensitive test for early detection and management of congestive heart failure. Christopher DeFilippi, associate professor of medicine, University of Maryland, explained about the functioning of NT-proBNP and said the technology could enable detection of even early or mild stages of heart failure when there were generally no obvious symptoms.