INTERVIEW WITH AISHWARYA VASUDEVAN GROUP CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER NEUBERG DIAGNOSTICS
Our vision from day one is clear- the patient is the center of our universe, doctors and other healthcare professionals are our partners" Over 18 years of experience with a rich background in P&L Management, Sales,
Our vision from day one is clear- the patient is the center of our universe, doctors and other healthcare professionals are our partners”
Over 18 years of experience with a rich background in P&L Management, Sales, Mergers & Acquisitions, Marketing, Business Development, Operations, Training, Customer Engagement and Quality.
Strong credentials in consumer healthcare, having successfully developed and launched sales strategies, innovative marketing & branding solutions, and passionate about ensuring flawless adherence to quality and protocols.
What efforts led to Neuberg getting 14 ICMR-approved testing labs for COVID-19 in India and 3 in South Africa?
Today, we are the only lab chain in the country doing COVID testing from 14 labs in India and 3 in South Africa with few more on the way. This is largely due to the strategic development of our Centre of Excellence network, including our Centre of Excellence for Virology Diagnostics and Research (Durban, South Africa), the Centre of Excellence for Genomics (Ahmedabad, India) and the Centre of Excellence in Digital Pathology (Bengaluru, India). In addition, we have a regional reference laboratory network that is NABL/CAP-accredited with BSL2/BSL3 classification, backed by strong technical expertise and experience in the RT-PCR technique which is the preferred method for COVID testing. Our strict adherence to government guidelines and GLPs were key contributing factors for us be able to set up so many labs in a short period of time thus being able to contribute to this crucial endeavour of national importance.
How do you see an accolade of such timely prominence shaping Neuberg’s journey, in the near five years?
We currently view this as an exercise of national duty and are yet to evaluate the long-term implications. However, this will add to our recognition as a global diagnostic consortium with several centres of excellence in the fields of Pathogen Identification, Proteomics, Genomics, Metabolomics, Digital Pathology, Personalized Medicine, and Data Analytics powered by a great team of visionary leaders, reputed domain experts, and a competent workforce.
Our vision from day one has been clear- the patient is the centre of our universe, while doctors and other healthcare professionals are our partners in ensuring patient-care through affordable and accessible diagnostics and research.
The journey so far has been one of tremendous satisfaction and learning and I am confident the coming years will see us garner a further reputation as the leader in quality diagnostic services.
What is a single most prominent opportunity in Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology, that you wish could facilitate future growth?
India is a vast country and home to a large pool of genetic resources due to its ethnic diversity. I believe the future is in precision or personalized medicine which has been gaining tremendous momentum since the completion of the Human Genome Project. This will help in reducing costs of treatment, eliminating a one-size-fits-all approach and ineffective treatment plans. But in my opinion, weare yet to make the best of genomics, because the impact this science can have on the health of an individual, as well as the larger population, is tremendous.
With our Centre of Excellence for Genomics in Ahmedabad, we aim to drive progress of awareness of this science. We are the first lab in India to bring the highest throughput DNA sequencer which will support us in the study of human genes at an unprecedented scale by sequencing more samples to discover rare and novel genetic variants.
What are the top three forays you see soon for the Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology world? Are these different when considering a national and international market?
There too many to pick but currently I see Companion Diagnostics, Clinical Research and Precision Medicine using both conventional techniques and advanced tools such as Flowcytometry, Next-Generation Sequencing, Mass Spectrometry especially in a synoptic fashion making a substantial impact both in the national and international market.
Our ability to customize services, adopt novelties and engage effective SMART teams will ensure our success. Our Mantra is “constructive partnerships with defined priorities – patients, science, and customer satisfaction. I am sure commerce will follow automatically.
What impacts and/or transformations do you see digitization and digitalization making in the Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology industry?
Digital transformation and machine intelligence (Artificial Intelligence or AI) are helping companies to achieve cost-effective medicine and superior health outcomes. Digitization has allowed us several luxuries including cross-consultations between domain experts, accessibility to experts across geographies, using AI tools to make decisions more objective and data-driven. We are running several neuronal networks and AI tools to solve simple problems such as using peripheral smears and CBCs to differentiate between several forms of anaemias to complex problems like diagnosis of genetic diseases. A gene-sequencing generates more than 100 GB of data and with the help of AI, it has become easy to screen and analyze this vast amount of data in a matter of time. It is helping the industry in reducing costs and streamlining R&D efforts and time for clinical trials.
We live in the digital age and healthcare is at the forefront of adopting these tools – however, one must always remember that medicine is an empirical science and not an exact science like mathematics and that all digitization should be done with sure diligence in accordance with clinical guidelines and requirements.