Medgate Today magazine I Jan’21 :
Q1. Has COVID-19 amplified existing trends in the diagnostic industry, seen before the pandemic?
Transasia Bio-Medicals Ltd. has always been bringing to the forefront, the need for early, accurate and affordable diagnostics to contain the spread of infections and diseases, in a country where 70% citizens can’t afford basic healthcare. The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely shifted this need from being important to urgent. And while as a country we did speak about Making in India, Covid-19 has made us more aware of the urgent need to become Atma Nirbhar in the crucial areas of Diagnostics and healthcare.
COVID-19 also brought in new focus the huge Urban-Rural divide in our country with almost 800 Mil. citizens of India living in rural areas being hugely deprived of the required diagnostics and healthcare facilities. This issue needs much greater attention from our Governments to ensure urgent provision of basic healthcare for every citizen as enshrined in our constitution.
Q2. What have been your key learnings in 2020?
Extraordinary situations demand extraordinary responses. And one needs to be adaptive to the fast-changing dynamics in the aftermath of a crisis.
- pandemic has brought to the forefront some key questions that, as a country we need to now address, such as how can we enable diagnostics in the heartland of India with core infrastructure and by leveraging technology.
Some of our key learnings include:
Diagnostics remains a crucial part of healthcare: Over 70% of all treatment decisions depend on diagnostic test reports. Diagnostics is the key to prevention of disease. Diagnostics leads to early diagnosis of diseases and early diagnosis saves lives. Covid-19 has further proved that Diagnostics remains very crucial for healthcare.
Think bigger and faster - The pandemic has led to accelerated innovation be it in product development and delivery or business model. Continuous Innovations is the key to the future well being of everyone.
At Transasia, we realized early on, the critical role played by antibody testing kits for sero-surveillance, epidemiological studies and in identifying who should get the vaccine first. While most companies were still striving to take stock of the situation, our R&D teams in India, UK and USA came together to launch an antibody kit for COVID-19.
Going forward, there will be an urgent need for Indian manufacturers to scale production. The setting up of our world-class manufacturing facility at AMTZ, Visakhapatnam, is our answer to this foresight. Working round-the-clock in spite of the various restrictions, this facility was setup in a record time of 5 months during the lockdown. It will soon be producing six lakh tests per day for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases that will be beneficial to test millions of patients across India and the world. In the near future, this facility will serve as the global hub for all infectious disease tests such as TB, Malaria, HIV, Hepatitis etc.
Don’t lose sight of the purpose – Re-emphasizing the purpose of your organization brings forth the confidence and goodwill among employees and stakeholders. We have ensured that any new endeavor is aligned with our existing long-term strategy. We learnt that it is important to make sure the work we did in 2020 advanced the core mission of our organization which is to provide “ Innovative, affordable and reliable diagnostics for India and the world.
Harness the power of networks - A crisis often immediately throws up the urgent need for collaboration across the industry groups and Governments to meet the urgent needs of the country. Coming together of the industry has led to critical policy transformations that have accelerated government’s impetus on Make in India. Setting up of medtech parks, industry-academia partnerships for making available low cost testing solutions, etc. have accelerated the development and delivery of diagnostics and treatment for COVID-19.
Q4. What according to you has been the most important outcome of the pandemic?
Collaboration to me remains the most important outcome of the pandemic. And at Transasia, we have seen collaborative efforts bear fruit. Early on, our R&D teams in India, USA and UK came together to launch various tests for Vovid-19.
Similarly Transasia has partnered with the Dept. of Biotechnology, Government of India and AMTZ to develop and equip India’s first mobile COVID testing van, I-LAB in a record time. I-LAB was inaugurated by Union Health Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan. Today, I-LAB is traversing through rural parts of North India and providing citizens access to COVID-19 and other blood tests to monitor all vital parameters.
Q5. What can we look forward to, from Transasia-Erba in 2021?
As always, we remain committed in our quest to help form the future of the IVD Industry. Between now and 2022, our R&D labs in France, UK, USA, Austria and India, will launch over 10 exciting, state-of-the-art diagnostics systems in the fields of CLIA, Molecular, high-end hematology, Artificial Intelligence, LIS, among others. Also in the offing is a “Total Lab Automation” solution aimed at mid and large size laboratories. All these will soon make Erba-Transasia one among the top five companies globally to have ‘Total Solutions in Laboratory Diagnostics.
Transasia continues to expand availability of its products and services in more and more countries of the world. In 2021 we plan to expand our operations from the current 110 countries to over 130 countries across the world covering every continent.