Dec 21Featured ArticleIssue

We need to stand together in the face of adversity

There is an immediate need for life science organisations to continue working with the diagnostic sector for faster and quicker scientific breakthroughs. An insight by Dinesh Chauhan, CEO, CORE Diagnostics

COVID-19 taught many organisations to step up to the challenges brought by the pandemic and taught leaders lessons, on how to adapt businesses for protecting employees and continuing services to customers and the community. Business leaders worldwide worked towards maintaining an equilibrium, tolerating ambiguity and uncertainty, and adapting readily to new situations. COVID-19 helped us in handling mistakes or setbacks and putting stressful experiences into perspective and not dwelling on them. When we specifically talk about the diagnostics industry, we notice how we used to follow a strict routine earlier. But through these difficult times, the industry constantly worked towards evolving an emerging range of new testing methods, products, and capabilities. The pre-covid system for the industry was mostly reactive where a patient would visit a healthcare provider due to symptoms, and after receiving the diagnosis, they would be treated.

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Historically, consumer familiarity with the diagnostics industry has always been rather insignificant but the pandemic altered this to a new phase altogether. The healthcare sector, primarily the diagnostics industry, will now shift its focus towards home-based services out of the sheer need and demand of it. Patients who are now sounder about the industry and its workings will be active participants in their own healthcare. This includes taking control of important decisions impacting personal health. What is most essential for business leaders to understand now is the relevance of faster access to services and more reliable tests and treatments. The transition towards digital technologies like, IoT, machine learning, AI etc. is a massive step towards changes in the future of the industry. It is also essential for laboratories to continuously upgrade via infrastructure and continue the focus on the highest standard of quality through reports that we pride ourselves in. Now is the time to understand that in case of such crises in the future, we need to stand together in the face of adversity and hopefully use all these lessons learned to build a solid foundation for a united front that is driven to serve society.

Collaborations to play a key role
In the era of precision medicine, getting the right match between the patient and the targeted therapy requires the diagnostic industry and the pharmaceutical industry to collaborate with each other and support the entire process instead of competing against each other. A well-defined strategy that provides the diagnostic companies with a route to differentiate and accelerate the resultant therapies rather than slow down the growth is essential.

During COVID-19 the diagnostic industry along with the pharma industry came together to bring easily accessible solutions for customers throughout the country. The pandemic demonstrated the ability of the life sciences and the healthcare industry to respond to unexpected needs emerging from such global scale pandemics. The period saw a multitude of new players and innovations as well as new ways of thinking about healthcare, both at a large scale for the development of a better and more informed system focusing on the population health and at an ultra-targeted level through treatment for individual diseases. There is an immediate need for life science organisations to continue working with the diagnostic sector for faster and quicker scientific breakthroughs to be achieved at the pace seen during the pandemic.

Priorities for 2022
CORE is now going through a 360-degree growth trajectory, with new launches, partnerships and investments. As part of our expansion plans, we have set up new branches in Delhi and Bengaluru recently. We are looking for expansion opportunities that get us closer to the patients and clinicians so that we can continue to offer them high-quality diagnostic reports at the fastest turnaround time. Although our deep expertise in oncology has always been a constant, we also have expanded our diagnostics offerings to other segments, such as nephrology, gastroenterology, reproductive, and neurology. We will continue to bring advanced testing solutions to the country and maintain the spirit of innovation across the business.

For the next year, we are now also looking to set up an R&D facility which will not only help us in bringing in-house testing kits but will also help in research focussed on the scientific community. On the research front, we have been investing in structuring our data and integrating our processes to enable our scientific team to use the data for research purposes. New innovative technologies and tests are also being added to the high-end space. Our team is focussed on some high impact projects in this area over the next few years.

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