Post second wave all health care delivery systems have to gear-up for faster turnaround time, at-home access points and instant servicing.
Since April, India has been witnessing a surge in Covid-19 infections with the country seeing over 3 lakh fresh cases of Covid-19 daily. Amid this massive surge, which has caused a visible strain on the healthcare system. The second wave is different and more worrying than the first. Reports in the media indicate that younger age groups, largely unaffected in the first wave, are now getting infected. Coronavirus has tested all medical care, including recovery, and will keep on doing as such in any event for a couple of years. Stepping up vaccinations will not affect the rise of the second wave, but it will definitely save many lives. In conversation with Financial Express Online Vikas Gupta, Co-founder, MyDiagnostics talked about Covid-19’s second wave, its impact on healthcare and diagnostics and more. Excerpts:
Healthcare sector, including diagnostics, has faced immense pressure during the second wave of covid -19. Tell us about your experience and how did you cope with it?
Demand for COVID related tests have increased during the second wave and labs have struggled to process the samples on time due to heavy surge in demand. The demand -supply gap, distribution at home and turn around time were very challenging and we deployed our teams to work round the clock aided with digital tools to ensure maximum customer support.
As a co-founder of MyDiagnostics please share about your journey so far
It has been some life-long experience wherein I have seen the shift in the healthcare operating model before and after Covid. Riding through the 1st and 2nd wave and ensuring that testing services are geared up for speed, efficiency and at-home with all quality parameters has been the key focus.
We are seeing the shift in the awareness levels of people towards wellness and preventive health and its been our constant endeavour to provide access to both regular and emerging testing anytime and anywhere
Could you enumerate new challenges emerging in the healthcare sector, specifically post pandemic second wave?
Post second wave all health care delivery systems have to gear-up for faster turnaround time, at-home access points and instant servicing. Given increasing health awareness post Covid, higher share of wellness, specialised and home collection segment will continue to grow in demand. The sector has to quickly adopt to new operating model built on digital tools and systems
While putting in place good policy for Covid vaccines and its adequate distribution, can you define a road map that MyDiagnostics can play on amid these times?
Our focus is on quality testing services at-hour systems at home . During the second wave we have geared our systems to respond to a booking within 60 minutes with high touch consumer interaction and faster reporting. In future if there are mutants or newer strains that impact the population we will be able to provide testing services for those.
Pandemic spoiled the entire environment during 2020 and even half of the 2021. Its spread is not going to stop in the next few years with new airborne mutants finding entry in our spaces around. In that context what according to you could be the recovery strategy though still not perfect post pandemic?
The recovery has to be predominantly vaccination driven as we have seen in other countries where vaccination programs have been carried out. Along with this rapid testing and quickly identifying the hot spots is crucial.
Brief us about your labs, infrastructure, digital tools and automated machines as well as point-of-care and online booking process for sample collections?
We work in a hybrid model i.e., partner with a Highly Accredited network of laboratories where our tests are run and enable end-to-end seamless digital systems from booking, to collections and reporting through asset-light model of network expansion. We are in the process of providing consumer health tools for tracking and everyday health engagements through AI -enabled Mobile apps.
What growth or benefits did you derive from being a B2C primarily to become B2B now? And how is your company helping users by providing an end-to-end service.
We are primarily a Direct to Consumer company and B2C model provides long-term durability to diagnostics business through consumer brand building. We focus on Accessibility, Affordability, Speed and Quality which are essential criteria for our consumers. The services are delivered safely at-home within the stipulated timeline and hassle free. Moreover we are bringing new-age consumer diagnostics focused on Gut and Metabolic health, demand of which is increasing everyday.
What key trends and opportunities do you think will change the landscape in the healthcare sector this year 2021?
COVID has taught us the importance of strengthening one’s immune system to fight deadly infections and this will not be the only pandemic or epidemic that we will experience. With the globally connected world, always-on work culture, infinite notifications, risk of disease and climate changes, people are looking for meaningful and sustainable ways to improve their health, performance and longevity. And thus the market will move towards continuous preventive healthcare focused on root-cause Gut health, Metabolic Health, Immune Health and Nutrition. Most of the health care services will be focused towards delivering at home. This not only improves the unit economy of hospitals/providers but also improves patient experience, cost and outcomes. Digital systems powered by AI will become the de facto delivery medium.
Could you expand upon your future plan of action in the next three years?
Focus will be on expansion both through digital and physical channels expanding to 100 cities in India, creating awareness programs, and providing a rapid test results cycle.
I aspire to make functional preventive healthcare and diagnostics available to all of India, anytime and with affordable costs. The focus is on Every individual to become self-empowered towards their health. I want people to focus on the root-cause of health conditions and not fight the symptoms.