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Lab 2.0 is India’s answer to addressing its healthcare access needs

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Roche Diagnostics India has aligned its strategy to the government’s mission towards health and healthcare in India. The company has a well thought out plan for the future that aims to address the pain points of the Indian market. In an exclusive interaction with Raelene Kambli, Dr Shravan Subramanyam, Managing Director, Roche Diagnostics India shares the company’s vision, new technologies and the future for Lab 2.0

How according to you is the healthcare sector in India changing? And how is Roche responding to this change?
India has seen tremendous changes in the healthcare domain. We have seen how the average life expectancy has improved from 35-40 year to 70 plus. Moreover, healthcare in India is not a uniform market, it is quite diverse. It has the public health system, private healthcare, corporate healthcare and more. And in this diverse market we have different kinds of healthcare services available to people, right from primary healthcare, to high-end care. Now coming to diagnostics, this is the most fundamental aspect of healthcare delivery. Around 2-4 per cent of healthcare spent is attributed to diagnostics and more than 2/3rd of medical decisions are backed by it. But from a market perspective, diagnostics means different things to different people and so, access to diagnostics also becomes varied. For example, the rural need for diagnostics differs very much from that of urban India, we need the better part of India (semi-urban and rural geographies) to also have access to advanced screening and diagnostic solutions.

Roche has therefore aligned its strategy to the government’s mission towards health and healthcare in India.

So how is 2019-20 going to be for Roche? What will be the company’s focus?
Roche has devised its strategy to suit each set of partners and ensure the best solutions to patients. As mentioned earlier that we have aligned our mission with the government’s National Health Policy, we will look to increasing access. We will also look to

For the government, we have the hub and spokesmodel. We already have a PPP running with the Odisha government for their blood safety programme (NAT). A pan-state implementation of NAT in Odisha led to averting around 794 infected cases due to TTI and around 452 deaths among an annual blood recipient cohort. The NAT positive cases can be directed towards timely intervention and management of HCV, HBV and HIV infection, thus reducing the disease burden. We also have a PPP with NATCO for a country-wide HIV screening programme. Additionally, we are in talks with other governments as well as to build more partnerships.

In the private healthcare space, we are working on skill building, digital diagnostics, preventive monitoring solutions, and targeted diagnostics.

We have already conducted 880 skilling programmes so far.

What are your plans on the solutions front?
In 2019-20 Roche will be enabling patient access through technology interventions’, be it through lab automation which helps quicker turnaround times for lab results and better technician productivity or hi-end solutions like digital pathology that enable better clinical decision-making with the help of digitisation.
We will also invest in the development of point of care testing products and diagnostic equipment with high throughput.

How is Roche Diagnostics planning to transform lab diagnostics in India using digital technologies?
Lab 2.0 is India’s answer to addressing its healthcare access needs, through digitally aided, informed clinical decision-making. Diagnostics attracts 2 per cent of overall healthcare budget allocations, while it is the basis for 60 per cent of all clinical decisions. With a country as wide and diverse as ours, access to diagnostics and informed clinical decision-making requires digital enablement in lab solutions and services that go beyond installing best-in-class technologies, to include a community of lab technicians that is trained and adept at converting technologies into patient reach and service.

Roche Diagnostics India is at the pioneering end of such a transformation story, enabling globally used diagnostic technologies to find their way to India, to enable patient access. With our lab consulting expertise, we enable lab design for maximum efficiency. This, we believe helps the journey of consolidation underway in labs across India. Our added expertise on building skill on the latest in diagnostic technologies has enabled many a lab across India to build productivity and enhance service standards in their facilities. In 2018, we clocked over 880 such upskilling sessions across India.

A key focus for Roche Diagnostics India under the Lab 2.0 plans is lab innovation and bringing the best for India’s people to benefit from – the emphasis is on timely and accurate clinical decisions for patients as much as effective screening and disease prevention for healthy Indians.”

So how much of this data can be useful to your pharma division for drug development etc.,?
Well, in future, lines between pharma and diagnostics will start blurring as holistic solutions to patients take centre stage.

What will be your message to diagnostic organisations on navigating through VUCA?
The market will continue to witness its comes and downs but there are some key per-requisites that can be beneficial to survive and thrive in testing times.
• Keep transforming constantly
• Scale is an important aspect for a business to sustain in the long run
• Personalisations of healthcare services to patients, partners and more
• Diversify for business
• Utilise relevant technology to boost your business
• Be agile
• Deal with the increasing import tariffs
• Engage with customers, government
• Keep away from knee jerk reactions

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