Diagnostic industry in the post-pandemic era
Mr. Gaurav Dubey, CEO LivLong Technology has inevitably been a boon amidst the pandemic-induced global crisis. The coronavirus expedited the digital adoption process and revolutionized the healthcare sector. During the pandemic, there was an immense upsurge in
Mr. Gaurav Dubey, CEO LivLong
Technology has inevitably been a boon amidst the pandemic-induced global crisis. The coronavirus expedited the digital adoption process and revolutionized the healthcare sector.
During the pandemic, there was an immense upsurge in need for diagnostic testing kits to identify the virus. Furthermore, fast diagnosis and testing were essential for allocating hospital resources and appropriate patient cohorts, providing effective therapeutic measures and implementing quarantining procedures. As a result, manufacturers of diagnostic endeavours witnessed a rapid escalation in their research and development efforts bringing about a susceptible and specific test rapidly in the market and making it accessible to clinical laboratories to meet patient requirements.
The emerging trend that holds the future includes:
• acceleration of development timelines,
• greater emphasis on the supply chain, and
• new strategies for flexible manufacturing of diagnostic tests.
Acceleration of product development timelines
Following the outbreak of COVID-19 as a public health emergency, the new or changed directives conveyed to the Medical Device Industry at the onset of the pandemic will become permanent. Hence, the change in the regulatory practices and procedures during the covid-era should continue to accelerate medical product development so that the lessons learnt can be used and implemented in the future.
To cater to the timelines, companies had to alter their traditional approach to product development and diagnostics manufacturers were compelled to accelerate the process, compressing the timeline.
Few associations looked beyond the business for motivation and inspiration to rally product development teams with the undertaken challenge.
A few new and evolved practices incorporate upfront risk evaluations to weigh trade-offs against a quicker time to market and set up relief mitigation strategies. In addition, the benefits of applying an agile venture governance structure to empower quick decision-making and backing inventive critical thinking have also resulted. The approach thus, adopted was optimizing time to market for launch, followed by product updates post-introduction. This approach of delivering significant products in the stipulated timeframe is the future of the diagnostics industry.
Greater emphasis on the supply chain
The crisis of Covid 19 recognized the significant impact of global supply chain breaks on meeting projected demand and severely impacted the efforts of many organizations working on diagnostic testing and vaccine development.
Alterations in Supply Chain
During the pandemic era, drug and medical device manufacturers were directed to report shortages to the concerned Government authority. In addition, the firms were to notify the agency of an anticipated significant interruption in the supply of an essential device, and the manufacturers of devices were to provide information about the manufacturing capacity of the crucial devices they manufactured.
Strategic shift from the fundamentals
With regard to the perspective shifts with compressed development timelines, the medical device companies tapped the complex supply chain management proficiencies, like automotive and high-tech manufacturers, and how a volume supply chain interacted with an accelerated development process.
A Robust Supply Chain
The challenges posed by responding to COVID-19 recognized a need for a robust supply chain to reduce risk, provide cost savings, and support innovation enabling the companies to react quickly to demand fluctuations.
New Strategies for Flexible Manufacturing
To handle a COVID-19-like demand surge, companies need to figure out how to address fluctuations, fostering new ways of achieving flexible manufacturing options.
Balancing accretion with long-term demand
Running a manufacturing capacity requires significant investment and skills for balancing a production volume ramp-up versus the potential risks with uncertain long-term demand.
One approach is to scale manufacturing as volumes increase, starting with a manual line at lower volumes and gradually including automation and inventories to support high volumes. The other approach could be increasing the number of shifts and expanding the number of daily production schedules provides short-term flexibility to meet demand forecasts. Finally, adding manufacturing lines at existing plants and process automation or robotics for operations is an approach that aids long-term demand.
The post-pandemic business strategy for the diagnostic and medical industry ‘make where you sell’ is gaining traction. While sourcing within a specific region isn’t always feasible and may marginally increase costs, added expenses can be balanced through more efficient, guaranteed delivery to the market.
Covid-19 challenges had been imperious in our lifetime. Yet, the healthcare industry has risen to deliver medical solutions across prevention, treatment and diagnosis, developing effective products in a limited time.
According to industry sources*, the global molecular diagnostics market was valued at USD 36.2 billion in 2020, expected to expand at a CAGR of 3.9% by 2028. Likewise, the Indian molecular diagnostics market stood at an estimated USD 920 million in 2020, expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 10% till FY 2026. It is because the industry has changed to meet the changing demands of customers
Various institutions and organizations have identified their shortcomings and the potential impediment from every departmental standpoint and are implementing better processes for the future. In addition, the novel conditions associated with the pandemic have facilitated an overall transformation and evolved the diagnostics industry towards more patient-centric solutions that will endure even after the pandemic era.