by Sujatha Nanjundeshwara | 09 JAN 2018
It could be as simple a condition as a persistent red rash that suddenly appears on your skin out of nowhere.
While it could be an allergic reaction, it could also be symbolic of some other disorder. And the only way to determine the root cause would be an accurate diagnostic test.
This is where the importance of medical diagnostics comes to play.
Protect consumer health: This means you don’t unnecessarily end up as a patient! And you aren’t harmed by undergoing unnecessary treatment when it’s not required in the first place.
Help improve patient care: Medical decisions are impacted by test results at every stage: screening, diagnosis, patient prognosis, treatment decisions & monitoring. The more accurate the test results, the more precise would be the medical intervention at each stage.
Reduce healthcare spends: To a middle class family, a huge medical bill is no joke. It can eat up the family’s entire life savings in an instant. But with accurate test results in hand, the risk of costly trial & error treatment, over prescription and even lengthy hospital stays can be avoided.
But where is the Indian medical diagnostics headed? In a Q& A session on this topic, we spoke to Ms Zoya Brar, who at 26 is considered to be the youngest head of a healthcare start up called CORE diagnostics which was founded in 2013 on the principles of precision, advanced testing techniques, next gen technology and transparency.
Welthi Team: Ms Brar, what role do you think does diagnosis play in delivering effective healthcare?
Zoya Brar: Let me stress here, that diagnostics literally forms the backbone of medicine. Whichever branch of clinical practice it is, an accurate diagnosis lays the foundation for correct treatment of the patient.
Welthi Team: India‘s population is over 1.34 billion as of today. Do you think the Indian government is spending enough on healthcare?
Zoya Brar: No, I don’t think so. The Indian government needs to pump in more funds especially in the government sector to improve both the quality & accessibility of healthcare.
Welthi Team: In 2012, the government of India stated that about 22% was in the BPL (Below Poverty Line) category. In such a scenario, is affordable healthcare for all Indians, something we should give up on altogether?
Zoya Brar: I don’t think we should give up. If we plan properly, put the right infrastructure in place, and allocate funds, affordable healthcare can still be made available to all Indians.
Welthi Team: How do you think the lack of medical facilities impacts India’s rural poor?
Zoya Brar: When there are no hospitals in their villages, rural Indians are forced to come to cities where the costs are too high and they end up straining their financial resources further. According to me, a better idea would be for the government to focus on building good quality hospitals in rural areas.
Welthi Team: Speaking of the medical diagnostics industry, there are several unorganized, standalone players here. What kind of a threat do you think they pose?
Zoya Brar: I think they would be forced to shut shop and leave when they are unable to provide the kind of quality healthcare expected from the private sector.
Welthi Team: How has CORE diagnostics grown over the years & what is your vision for the future?
Zoya Brar: When we launched operations in 2013, the first thing that we did was to merge with a US based diagnostics chain OncoMDx. We also raised INR 25 crores in the initial round of initial funding from Artiman ventures and have grown by nearly 10% month on month. We have also attracted an additional INR 25 crores in funding now. So far as the future is concerned, we are here to not only build a company, but to reshape the healthcare industry as a whole where diagnostics occupies center stage.
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