December 2013 504

Shift from Preventive to Predictive Diagnostics

Please share your growth story in India industry?
We started as an ultrasound clinic to cater to the radiology imaging needs of South Mumbai in early 1980s, and have since then expanded our presence to offer the best of technology in radiology and pathology in various parts of the city. We had a vision to enter into preventive healthcare diagnostics and so we pioneered medical check-up plans in South Mumbai much before others entered this field, and had good success both at a retail and corporate. Today contrary to a lab set-up expansion model, each of our labs offer end-to-end radiology and pathology including CT Scan and MRI in most of our centres– and so each centre has an investment of close to 25 crore with state-of-the art imaging equipments. Today, we also have presence in Bangalore and Pune and are limited in physical expansion plans. Going forward Colour Doppler and ultrasound is an exciting technology to deploy in the diagnostic industry and offers an exciting proposition for a city like Mumbai. However, the diagnostic industry is becoming highly competitive and we have to have some differentiating factor to offer an edge all the time.

Tell us more about the partnership model with Sancheti Hospital in Pune?
This is a unique partnership for us where the hospital has outsourced its entire diagnostics department to us and we manage their lab and radiology. So we have a 3T MRI, CT Scan, Ultrasound, Colour Doppler and 2D Echo. It is a revenue share model that offers a win-win situation to us as well as the hospital – the hospital saves on heavy investment in diagnostics and instead invests more in surgical, in addition as we bring-in customers from outside the hospital ecosystem it also brings a new channel of patients for us as well as the hospital. And our doctors get the advantage to work with the best radiologist in the city and learn from them on a case to case basis.

“We are bullish on the hospital outsourcing opportunity and have 7-8 hospitals in pipeline within Mumbai”

Please share the trends in disease diagnostics in India?
In India cancer and cardiac dominate the diagnostic volumes and now we are seeing a surge in Vitamin testing and allergy diagnostics especially the younger population. I look forward to an upward trend in the cardiac CT and CT angiography as cardiac attack episodes have become more common now than before. With available of low dose high quality CT scan, one must popularize this among 45 years and above age population. Cancer diagnostics has also seen a growth trends, however the industry is waiting for an evolution of molecular markers that go to predictive than preventive that is molecular genetic markers. However this is high cost challenge and we are waiting for the cost and affordability.

Please share your growth strategy going forward?
I believe that healthcare is a regional business and not a national one, and so while we continue to look for opportunities in western India that includes Maharashtra and Gujarat. While we continue to look forward to grow with standard centre set up across Mumbai and new cities that includes a full-fledged imaging and lab set up in addition to lab only centers. We are also bullish on the hospital outsourcing opportunity and have 7-8 hospitals in pipeline within Mumbai. It is an upcoming growth model and the industry will see more of diagnostic outsourcing from hospitals in the coming times.

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