December 2013

Lab Automation Accelerates Quality Control

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Rajesh Pandya
Country Manager, Abbott
Diagnostics, India

Tell us about the growth trends for the Abbott Diagnostics division in India?
In India we are leaders in immunology, clinical chemistry and haematology. On offer is a comprehensive suite of solutions necessary to meet the testing needs of large and complex health systems. Our products focus on providing innovative technologies and solutions that provide critical information needed to help doctors make better and faster decisions about patient treatment & monitoring and improve disease management. Our new launch includes assays such as High Sensitive Troponin and Epstein Barr Virus. New products also include CELL-DYN Ruby, Emerald for haematology and the Vitamin D test for the ARCHITECT platform. Many laboratories perform Vitamin D tests on the ARCHITECT platform because of the excellent result quality. Since its launch Vitamin D test has seen rapid adaptation and growth.

What are the key modernization indicators and technology investments that are giving a labs and clinics today a competitive edge today?
Laboratories today have evolved in the last decade. Semi-automated instruments have been replaced by full automation. Manual sample registrations have made way for barcode registration. Results which used to take more than two to three days can now be gathered in a minutes, which allows physicians to have the important information needed for patient care. Today, laboratory focus is on providing quality results to the patient; due to this, many labs have registered for accreditation with NABL [National Accreditation Board of Laboratories] or with CAP [College of American Pathologists] which are considered quality standards. The key modernization factors include a shift from contemporary technology to CLIA [Chemi Luminescence Immuno Assays] based technology; consolidation of clinical chemistry and immunochemistry platforms; and less turnaround time.

As an industry expert tell us your views on the growth segments for the diagnostic industry in India?
Immunology has led the value growth in the diagnostics industry, while clinical chemistry has shown volume growth. Specialized assays like Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Metabolic, Oncology, Cardiac, Hepatitis and HIV diagnostics are also seeing rapid growth. However, an impediment of ideal growth for the industry has been high fragmentation, prevalence of laboratories without accreditation, quality control, low penetration of insurance, Rupee depreciation and low priced reagent sales.

What are the key medical segments that are contributing to the growth story of the diagnostic industry in India?
The in vitro diagnostics market in India has gathered momentum and has been experiencing tremendous growth in the last few years. The market will exhibit steady growth in the future considering high patient population growth; an increasing number of hospitals and diagnostic labs; innovation by pharmaceutical companies; chronic diseases; a demand for cost effective, faster and sensitive results; increased affluence of patients; and increased healthcare awareness. We have seen growth in thyroid, fertility, hormones, tumour and metabolic markers to name a few. While thyroid, fertility and hormone testing have become a routine investigation; we have observed high volume growth and value growth in metabolic, oncology and cardiac markers. The new assays are significant contributors in Immunoassay growth.

Tell us more on the latest trends in laboratory automation systems in India, and what will be the benefits for the clinics?
Lab automation is moving toward total lab automation from pre-analytics to post-analytics. The benefit for the clinics is fast turnaround time and less human intervention, which helps labs in meeting total quality management and overall process improvement. We focuss on offering new IT technology for laboratories in order to reduce the complexities involved in workflow processes.

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