Diagnostics leveraging the tech wave


Diagnostics are the mainstay of the detection, diagnosis, and assessment of any disease & also the backbone of the healthcare industry. Over 70 percent of the medical decisions regarding disease treatment, management, and prevention are based on diagnostics. They are a crucial tool in preventive healthcare as discussed and stated by industry thought leaders at the 4th Elets Diagnostics Leadership Summit.

In an attempt to decode the futuristic diagnostics sector, over 62 speakers shared their views and insights during 11 interactive sessions and through 4 industry presentations at the fourth edition of the Diagnostic Leadership Summit. The 4th edition was organized after the successful execution of the first three editions of the Elets Diagnostics Leadership Summit, which witnessed 1500+ Delegates, 120+ speakers, and 30 thought-provoking sessions & panel discussions.

Industry experts and thought leaders shared their opinions on topics including ‘Improving Customer Experience With Connected Data’, ‘Are Humans & Machines at War?”- Risk-Based Lab Perspective’, ‘Rapid Diagnostic Kits Market – Scope, Challenges & Opportunities’, ‘Infectious Disease Pandemic – A growing threat to mankind’, ‘How digitization can optimize inventory and supply chain management to reduce the cost in the diagnostic industry’, ‘Leveraging Clinical LCMS for Advanced Diagnostics’, ‘Synergising Laboratory automation for efficacious diagnostics operations’, ‘Pandemic Inducing Lab Accreditation for Enhanced Diagnostics’, ‘Pandemic Inducing Lab Accreditation for Enhanced Diagnostics’, ‘Digitization accelerating the pace of Innovation in futuristic Diagnostic sector’, ‘Diagnostics Roadmap 2022: CEO’s Perspective’ and ‘Future of digitization of supply chain in the diagnostics industry.

Dr Simi Bhatia, Director- Goregaon Reference Lab, Technical Director South, West, Central & International Labs, SRL Diagnostics stated that automation is making patients comfortable and less anxious. They can book the preferred time of the test and some labs also share the phlebotomist who will come along with their contact number. The patients can track their samples and know when the report will be ready. They are fully aware and that is reducing their anxiety. Dr Dinkar Desai, President, The Pathologists Association & Association of Practicing Pathologists – India -shared, “ICMR allowed NABL accredited labs to pitch in for conducting RT-PCR tests for COVID as the cases were surging rapidly. This helped in better management of the pandemic.”

Dr Maithili Kavathekar, Director of Laboratory Services at Sahyadri Speciality Hospital expressed, “Molecular methods have brought a different dimension to microbiology labs. These help in identifying antimicrobial resistance and have fast-paced testing and improved quality.” Dr Aruna Poojary, Head of Department, Pathology & Microbiology Breach Candy Hospital shared there’s a need for some kind of refresher training program for people in microbiology and pharmacology. Also, we need to rope in more microbiology labs for surveillance to enhance quality reporting.

Dr Shahzad Mirza, Associate Professor, (Microbiology), Hospital Infection Control Officer, Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Pune communicated major key areas of research would be to optimize the use of antimicrobial vaccines. Secondly, we need to develop new drugs. Also, we don’t have an ambassador for AMR, why shouldn’t we work on that. Anindya Chowdhury, COO, Aster Labs, India & GCC stated it may not be the survival of the fittest, but the survival of the widest which means that the diagnostics centers which have the widest reach in reaching out to patients & clinicians will be extremely important going forward. Patients are used to the convenience factor and the labs that can cater to that will be able to prosper.

In a discussion on ‘Diagnostics Roadmap 2022: CEO’s Perspective’, Arjun Dang, CEO, Dr Dangs Lab shared, “Diagnostics needs to be democratized with digitization & efficient delivery moving forward with our combined focus on giving our best to the patients.” Dr Sanjay Arora, Managing Director and Founder, Suburban Diagnostics expressed that the focus the diagnostic sector has gotten in the last two years is unprecedented. “The agility shown by NABL in remotely bringing accreditation to any lab that wanted to get into covid testing is a big learning for all of us. If that is a possibility during a covid when we were pushed to the wall, how can we make the standard of operations for every lab today? That will bring about a change in the right direction. If all the criteria for accreditation are adopted by every lab for all the right reasons, not as a roadblock but more as a facilitator, it will overall raise the standards of testing across the industry.

Dr Pankaj Shah, CEO, Aspira Diagnostics, averred, “Expectations of patients are more from pathologists now. They want faster TAT, digitization & growing preference for home visits. When we started in the ’80s, digitization was never in our thoughts. But due to Covid, everybody has gone into digitization. Leveraging AI to better integrate and analyze healthcare is what I have learned. Covid has made people more health conscious and has made us also realize how to sharpen our knowledge.” Sharing his views in the discussion, Mohit Lalchandani, Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Lalchandani Labs said, “It takes a lot effort to bring about any change but the pandemic helped all the organizations to change things. It brought about a lot of volume to every lab, manpower was reduced and technology was a necessity during those times. Post the pandemic, the importance of insurance has also increased and pushed forward the need to have it.”

The session on ‘Digitization accelerating the pace of Innovation in the futuristic Diagnostic sector’ saw Amit Aggarwal, General Manager Procurement, Spice Healthcare Pvt. Ltd stating, “IoT connects multiple devices in different laboratories, generating data and it also enhances the quality of analysis, further reforming healthcare.” Dr Rahul Bhargava, Hematologist – Principal Director, Fortis Healthcare expressed, “India is beyond the metro cities and there are large hinterlands that are devoid of pathologists. The digitization allowed us to scan a large number of slides and give accurate results for the right diagnosis. Digitalization is helping in bringing accessibility to patients. It is here to say.” Dr Namita Jaggi, Chairperson Labs, and Infection Control Chief Education and Research, Artemis Hospital said, “AMR is a multifactorial problem and thus the solution has to be multi-faceted.”


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