Medical diagnostics is ever evolving and is closely linked to the developments in technology and the medical science in general, says Dr Th. Dhabali Singh, Managing Director, Babina Diagnostics, Imphal, Manipur
Current operations and expansion plans.
Babina Diagnostics has more than 100 collection centres and franchisees in Manipur and the neighbouring states thereby making our diagnostic centre, the biggest of its kind in the Northeast. We also have joint-venture units in Kohima, Guwahati, Shillong, and Agartala. There are plans for further expansion in other parts of the Northeast and the neighbouring country of Myanmar. In fact, we already have a joint-venture unit in Tamu in Myanmar and we are keeping a close watch on the political developments there. With the cost advantage we can provide, there is a huge potential for medical tourism here.
What are your views on the price sensitivity of the Indian market, and how does your diagnostic counter this problem?
Ours being a diagnostic centre, my views would be limited to this sector only. Healthcare, in particular, the diagnostics market, is price sensitive. Looking at the general economic status of the population, particularly, in an economically-backward region, we are at a constant pressure to bring down the rates of tests and investigations so that they become easily affordable to the people.
What are your views on government regulation or any other challenges faced while operating the Indian market?
A major section of the medical diagnostics market is unorganised and unregulated. This has resulted in the mushrooming of a large number of laboratories. Accreditation is still not mandatory in India. Benefits of accreditation accrue to both patients and laboratories by way of increased business resulting from enhanced patient confidence, and ensuring quality reports. Medical labs will be confronted with a broad range of medical, legal, ethical and even, human rights issues if they don’t gear up for accreditation and consequent improvement in the delivery of quality services. Other challenges faced by laboratories include the high cost of equipment and reagents and fast obsolescence of technologies. For a laboratory based in a remote part of the country as ours, there are other additional problems like that of connectivity and lack of infrastructure.
Please comment on emerging trends and new technologies.
Medical diagnostics is ever evolving and is closely linked to the developments in technology and the medical science in general. Recent advances in molecular biology and radiology have completely changed the way we see at diagnostics. Of the recent developments, many believe that nanotechnology has the potential to improve the whole healthcare process for patients, right from diagnosis to treatment and follow-up monitoring. The advantages of nanotechnology-based medical diagnosis include rapid testing and early diagnosis. It is believed that emerging modalities such as biochip, microarray, nanobarcode, and nanobiosensers are going to revolutionise the field of medical diagnostics.
What are your diagnostic’s offerings?
Our journey starting from 1983 has been a tremendous experience and we have seen how medical science and diagnostics have changed in all these years. Being the first NABL-accredited laboratory in the entire Northeast, we have the reputation of the leading medical diagnostics service provider in the region.