Suraksha Diagnostics, established in 1992, was one of the first diagnostic centers in Kolkata. The company has seen steady growth over the next three decades and emerged as one of the leaders in the segment.
BE's Saptarshi Deb spoke to Dr. Somnath Chatterjee, Director, Suraksha Diagnostics regarding the emerging trends in the segment.
Q. How have you consolidated your position in the eastern Indian market?
A. To consolidate my position in the eastern India market, I adopted a multi-pronged strategy that involved understanding the local customers and their preferences, adapting my products to meet their needs, and establishing partnerships with local businesses and organizations.
I conducted extensive market research to understand the unique needs and preferences of the eastern India market. This involved analysing market trends, studying customer behaviour, and conducting surveys to gain insights into what the customers wanted. Based on this research, I developed products that were tailored to the eastern India market, and that met the specific needs of the local customers.
I also established partnerships with local businesses and organizations to expand my reach in the region. This involved collaborating with local distributors, wholesalers, and retailers, as well as partnering with local industry associations and trade bodies. Through these partnerships, I was able to build a strong network of contacts in the region, and gain access to new markets and customers.
Overall, my efforts to consolidate my position in the eastern India market have been successful, and I have been able to increase my market share and build a strong presence in the region.
Q.Talking about the diagnostic segment in the healthcare sector, what are the emerging trends?
A. The emerging trends in the diagnostic segment of the healthcare sector:
Artificial intelligence and machine learning: The use of AI and machine learning is rapidly transforming the diagnostic segment of the healthcare sector. These technologies are being used to analyse vast amounts of patient data, including medical images, lab results, and patient histories, to improve diagnostic accuracy and speed. AI and machine learning can also help identify patterns and trends in patient data that might be missed by human doctors, leading to earlier and more accurate diagnoses.
Point-of-care testing: Point-of-care testing involves conducting diagnostic tests at or near the site of patient care, rather than sending samples to a central lab for analysis. This approach can improve patient outcomes by providing faster results and enabling clinicians to make more informed treatment decisions. Point-of-care testing is particularly useful in emergency situations, where rapid diagnosis and treatment are critical.
Personalized medicine: Personalized medicine involves tailoring medical treatment to an individual patient's unique genetic makeup, lifestyle, and medical history. In the diagnostic segment of the healthcare sector, this trend is manifesting in the form of genetic testing and other diagnostic tests that can help identify patients who are at higher risk for certain diseases or who might benefit from specific treatments. Non-invasive diagnostic tests: There is a growing demand for non-invasive diagnostic tests that can provide accurate results without requiring invasive procedures. These tests can include blood tests, urine tests, and imaging tests that do not involve radiation exposure.
Digital health technologies: Digital health technologies, such as mobile apps, wearable, and remote monitoring devices, are increasingly being used to improve patient engagement and data management in the diagnostic segment of the healthcare sector. These technologies can help patients track their health data, communicate with their healthcare providers, and receive personalized treatment recommendations based on their unique needs and preferences.
Q. The Covid-19 pandemic was a major shock for the healthcare sector. Looking back, what would be your learnings? Do you think the healthcare sector is now better equipped to cope with a similar pandemic?
A. The COVID-19 pandemic was a significant shock to the healthcare sector, highlighting the need for increased preparedness and response capabilities. Some of the key learnings from the pandemic include the importance of early detection and rapid response, the need for coordinated and effective communication between healthcare providers and public health officials, and the importance of investing in research and development of vaccines and treatments.
While the healthcare sector has made significant strides in improving its preparedness and response capabilities, it is difficult to say whether it is now fully equipped to cope with a similar pandemic. The pandemic has exposed significant
gaps in the healthcare system, including shortages of critical medical supplies, inadequate healthcare infrastructure, and disparities in access to care. Addressing these gaps will require continued investment in research, development, and infrastructure, as well as a commitment to improving healthcare access and equity.
Q. How would you ensure the smooth operation of diagnostic services while maintaining high-quality standards and adherence to regulations?
A. To ensure the smooth operation of diagnostic services while maintaining high quality standards and adherence to regulations, I would take the following steps:
Develop clear policies and procedures: Develop clear policies and procedures that outline the steps involved in each diagnostic service, including sample collection, testing, and reporting of results. These policies and procedures should be regularly reviewed and updated as needed to ensure compliance with regulations.
Trnai staff: Train staff on the policies and procedures to ensure that they understand the steps involved in each diagnostic service. This training should also include information on quality standards and regulatory requirements.
Use quality control measures: Use quality control measures to ensure that the diagnostic services are accurate and reliable. This can include using internal quality control measures, such as running known samples alongside patient samples, as well as external quality control measures, such as participating in proficiency testing programs.
Monitor performance metrics: Monitor performance metrics, such as turnaround time, error rates, and customer satis-faction, to identify areas for improvement and ensure that the diagnostic services are meeting quality standards and regulatory requirements.
Conduct regular audits: Conduct regular audits to ensure that the policies and procedures are being followed and that the diagnostic services are operating in compliance with regulations.
By implementing these steps, I would ensure that the diagnostic services operate smoothly while maintaining high quality standards and adherence to regulations. This would ultimately lead to improved patient outcomes and increased customer satisfaction.
Q. What steps would you take to ensure effective management of diagnostic equipment, maintenance, and timely upgrades?
A. To ensure effective management of diagnostic equipment, maintenance, and timely upgrades, I would take the following steps:
Develop a comprehensive inventory of all diagnostic equipment, including the manufacturer, model number, and age of each piece of equipment. Establish a regular maintenance schedule for each piece of equipment, including routine inspections, cleaning, calibration, and replacement of parts as needed. Train staff members on proper equipment usage and maintenance procedures, as well as how to troubleshoot issues that may arise. Implement a system for tracking equipment usage, maintenance, and repair history to identify trends and areas for improvement. Regularly assess the need for equipment upgrades and replacements based on changes in technology, patient needs, and budget constraints. Develop a budget for equipment maintenance and upgrades, and prioritize spending based on the most critical needs. Establish partnerships with equipment manufacturers and vendors to stay informed about new technology and equipment upgrades. By taking these steps, we can ensure that our diagnostic equipment is well-maintained, functioning properly, and up-to-date with the latest technology. This will help us provide the best possible care to our patients and ensure that our diagnostic capabilities remain competitive in the industry.