New Dawn in Diagnostics with Thermo Fisher Scientific
Tell us something about your organization? Thermo Fisher Scientific is the world leader in serving science, and our mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. We make it possible
Tell us something about your organization?
Thermo Fisher Scientific is the world leader in serving science, and our mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. We make it possible for our customers to make scientific breakthroughs, whether they’re developing novel treatments for disease, advancing environmental sustainability, or keeping people safe. We have an extensive portfolio of products and services across pharmaceutical, life sciences, healthcare, food and the industrial segments. With a global team of more than 80,000 colleagues, at Thermo Fisher, we continue to increase our depth of capabilities in technologies, software and services, and leverage our extensive global reach to address our customers’ emerging needs. As the world faces the greatest health crisis, as a company we continue to play a significant role to support our customers and governments around the world to respond to the pandemic through our molecular diagnostics capabilities, pharma services business and enabling development and production of vaccines and therapies.
The pandemic has been a global crisis that has exposed the pitfalls of our existing systems. What are some of the disadvantages of the diagnostics industry it has now laid bare?
The pandemic has accelerated the demand for advanced diagnostics on a global front. All diagnostic services, from pathology in laboratories to imaging like scanning, radiology, and ultrasound, play a vital part in identifying health conditions and initiating early medical interventions. Additionally, there are several factors that have completely altered the face of the diagnostics world and will continue to do so. The pandemic has radically changed demand patterns for products and services across sectors while exposing points of vulnerabilities in global supply chains and service networks. Diagnostic companies are compelled to revamp their operations and supply chains strategies with more organizations considering moving a part of their production-supply capacity closer to end markets. Other fragilities include complexities in sustaining solutions that are globally viable for every country, intense cost competition, logistics, workforce, infrastructure, and more.
In India, the government has taken several conscious changes in the policy framework to incentivize and promote local manufacturing and focus on R&D that is profound, disruptive, and cutting-edge. Overall, an optimistic outlook for the long term that will bolster diagnostics and healthcare capacities and capabilities in the country.
According to you, what are the major changes the sector needs to incorporate in the present and in the coming future?
Emerging breakthroughs in science, advancing digitization and mounting cost pressures are driving the next wave of innovation. These factors have initiated a massive push for research and development in the pharma and healthcare space. These changes have scaled adoption of digital technologies at stunning scale and speed. Businesses are looking to create and implement strategies that can leverage more digital technologies for data-driven decisions, improve customer experience and capitalize on the technologies and scientific advancements in personal genomics, cell therapy, drug discovery and improving efficiencies.
There is more focus on patient-centric delivery, better access, supply chain innovations and mechanisms for ensuring quality and capacity. With rapid advancements in genomics and artificial intelligence, personalized medicine is another promising field with large opportunities to study the progress of diseases, therapies, and their impact. There is also a significant opportunity to store and process big pools of patient data to gain insights about potential drugs and treatments that are safer, more effective, and more efficient.
Did the pandemic have any major impact on operations at Thermo Fisher Scientific? If yes, how did the company evolve to keep up with the unprecedented times?
Covid-19 steered the world into an era of uncertainties and change. At Thermo Fisher Scientific we were also faced with challenges concerning supplies, extended lead times due to unprecedented demand for test kits, critical instruments, consumables, and essential inputs for Covid vaccines and therapeutics. The company worked on global scale capacities, accelerated innovation to overcome these challenges and that’s why Thermo Fisher Scientific could respond to our customers’ requirements with speed at scale, becoming the global leader in COVID testing. We also realize how important it is to have access to localized supplies of critical RT-PCR testing kits and opened a new manufacturing site in Bengaluru earlier, this year. The site locally manufactures CoviPath COVID-19 RT-PCR test kits to meet the rising demands of our customers in India. Overall, at an organisational level, our approach involves a globally coordinated response, comprehensive site preparedness, employee training and communication, and robust business continuity planning. We embraced technology and digital capabilities to offer end-to-end capabilities that allowed us to support and stay closely connected with our customers.
Lastly, what is the one principle you have followed throughout your career in the field of diagnostics?
The pandemic has highlighted the need for adaptability and the ability to embrace new approaches of doing business. As the situation continues to remain fluid, I believe collaborative approach, adaptive mindset and conviction that can balance short-term achievements with long term investments would be crucial to address the dynamic needs of the industry.