Vivek Mahendra, Enterprise Architect and Chief Platform Officer, CallHealth, in a conversation with Prabhat Prakash discusses on Callhealth’s plans of achieving scale with their partnership with Livehealth
How will this partnership help CallHealth and LiveHealth respectively? How will this collaboration help you achieve scale at a faster pace?
When we were doing our field test, we on-boarded a lot of big players in the market. The intent of the partnership was that the labs will have a well-established lab information management system and we could do a simpler plug-in and ensure the data moves seamlessly from sample on-boarding to the report inputs. However, we realised that while we put together HL7-based integration, the labs weren’t ready for it. This is one of the biggest challenges that we are facing as we expand. Labs aren’t ready with proper management system or they have used test codification systems and nomenclature that isn’t globally accepted. Due to this, we had to undergo a four to six weeks of integration process. These labs have state-of- the-art facilities but their data wouldn’t be interpretable by any open source system as they aren’t using global information exchange standards (example: lOINC codes) as a means of exchange. We faced this challenge because we had partnered with different labs and these labs were in different phases of maturity (example: nascent state or state-of-the-art).
As per this partnership, we will aim to target about 2000 towns and cities across India. We were looking at creating a docking station for the labs which would make it easier to do an integration.
LiveHealth is a startup but they have been able to work with 2200 diagnostic labs across the country and they use a cloud-based lab information management system. They maintain a global dictionary of all lab nomenclature that exists, and we have created our own lab nomenclature too. This makes it easy for us to access these 2200 labs because the integration would be at a singular level (LiveHealth level) then we would be able to integrate with each of the corresponding labs under them using their platform. This would directly facilitate our expansion across the country.
From a CallHealth perspective we have collaborated to create a unified nomenclature mapping. We will now have a singular mapping of each test code that gets serviced across these 2200 labs. This would help us in our integration as it would just be a single day process. All we have to do is, sign a contract and tick off on our configurator the number of tests we have delivered as per our contract. The data collected from our labs will provide us with information to look for patterns aligned to demographics, disease types and risk factors. This partnership will help us scale at a faster pace as 2200 labs are already accessible to us.
How will your business strategy change with this partnership? Will there be a change in the current business model?
This will not change our strategy as it aligns with our goal. In the healthcare ecosystem, our platform is supposed to be a singular docking system that we interface with. This partnership will help us achieve our vision. There will be no changes in our business model with a partner on board. LiveHealth will get its revenues from the labs they are associated with. We are only ensuring that we maintain a uniformity with their global data dictionary and there is a stability to plug-in. The customers’ journey flows through CallHealth.
How do you plan on achieving the target of 5500+ labs?
We already have access to labs associated with LiveHealth. We are already engaging directly with close to about 800 different lab partners. All these labs have their own collection centres which would help us achieve our target of 5500+ labs.
How will the logistics be managed with utmost accuracy? How will the delivery time be reduced in the urban as well as rural market?
All the labs that we are associated with are NABL labs. We are only going to engage with labs that are nationally accredited. The whole journey of a sample from a patient to the lab is a responsibility that we are taking through our professional health ecosystem partners. We have created our own IP, we call it a Thermo-K container which helps preserve samples in prime shape for about 8-10 hours. All the phlebotomists that are on board have been hired through a background check with their respective certifications. We keep track of the sample being collected with proper hygiene and procedure. The phlebotomists are equipped with a centrifuge machine as well. To control this at the field level, we have built through our application small audit trackers that will ensure time of both sample collection and sample deposition, keep track of the medical waste being disposed. There is also a photograph of the sample and the sample quantity at the time of collection. Proper vacutainers are used. Tracking is done on real time basis. These measures will help us manage our logistics with utmost accuracy. There is zero delay once the report is generated as the report can be accessed online.
What are the new innovative technologies that would be integrated in new labs? What measures will be taken to secure patient data?
We have established a health information exchange; this exchange is accessible using the HL7 protocols. This is globally accepted, we can just plug-in and we are good to go. We use AI and ML when the data is presented to the end user (patient, doctor). The report has information components besides the report itself. If there are a series of tests done and they show a trend this could help the doctor treat the patient better.
For patients, the report will be easy to understand. There is also a chatbot available for the report that is generated. The patient can also share their reports with other doctors for consultation through a secure mechanism. We are also using blockchain signatures to ensure the security and integrity of the report. For people who aren’t tech savvy, they can contact our call centre for the report, and it would be sent to them. At the point of service if a patient wants to pay using cash rather than using a card, that option too is available.