Anand Pande, President, Asia Pacific, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics gives a glimpse into the company’s expanding diagnostic solutions to manage key needs in the COVID-19 disease spectrum as well as their initiatives to support healthcare professionals and their staff, in an interaction with Viveka Roychowdhury
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the diagnostics sector?
Diagnostic testing has been the backbone of the COVID management strategy across the globe and has played the most important role in controlling and mitigating the risk of community spread. Testing, treating and tracing is a critical strategy in managing this pandemic. COVID-19 has reconfirmed the importance of diagnostics in managing any disease, more so in a pandemic. A common person now understands what is an antigen, antibody or RT PCR test. Everyone now understands the lab and its staff’s critical role, in helping clinicians quickly with accurate diagnosis within the overburdened hospitals during this pandemic. For patients afflicted with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the information provided by the lab can help assess the severity of the infection and monitor therapeutic interventions.
How did the company, as a manufacturer of products and diagnostic equipment for blood testing, respond to these changes?
At Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, we believe “Because Every Test is a Life” – behind every specimen a real person is waiting for critical test results—which is why we never stop working to deliver accurate, efficient, and reliable instruments, easy-to-use technology, and continuous collaboration to ensure your lab is delivering exceptional patient care. Ortho Clinical Diagnostics was the first to get the EUA approval for the antibody test on a CLIA platform in April, and we launched it in June in India. Similarly, Ortho was the first company to launch its antigen test on the CLIA platform both in the US and India.
What is the significance of Ortho’s CE-Marked VITROS®SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test which also detects asymptomatic COVID-19 individuals? Are there any other tests, services that are the company’s USP to retain and grow market share?
Our mission is to improve and save lives with diagnostics. We do that by reimagining what’s possible. It’s what defines us. It’s the Ortho difference. The world is in urgent need of more tests to help contain a virus that continues to spread throughout communities. With demand often exceeding supply, high-volume SARS-CoV-2 antigen tests are an important addition to the current diagnostic tests available to detect active infections. VITROS® immunoassay technology is useful to detect individual infection and immunity detection at community level with its antigen and antibody assays. Ortho Clinical Diagnostics offers comprehensive diagnostic solutions to manage key needs in the COVID-19 disease spectrum. VITROS® SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test, VITROS® SARS-CoV-2 Total Antibody Test and VITROS® SARS-CoV-2 IgG Antibody Test based on proven VITROS MicroWell Chemiluminescence technology and offered on VITROS instrument systems to provide accurate and high throughput solutions for patient management and public health initiatives.
What are the new focus areas of the company’s strategy post the pandemic?
Our focus has always been to save and improve lives through diagnostics “Because Every Test is a Life”. Our key strength has been outstanding services and innovation, we believe that we would continue to focus on supporting healthcare professionals in the following ways:
- Enhancing clinical outcomes by delivering accurate, consistent and timely results to enhance patient care
- Improving laboratory performance by maximising staff productivity and system performance while reducing errors
- Overcome staffing challenges by making more efficient use of staff’s time to attract and retain them
- Achieve cost management by lowering costs with accurate financial tracking across the lab