“HistoXpert model will make better commercial sense for users”

“HistoXpert model will make better commercial sense for users”

Ameera Shah
Managing director, Metropolis Healthcare

What prompted you to come up with this concept?
Metropolis, as a company, has always believed in constantly focusing on innovative models that can benefit both the patients as well as the organisation. That has made us different in an industry that has been stodgy and traditional. But now, healthcare industry is witnessing vibrancy both in India and internationally. While it is in terms of accessibility and affordability in India, technology is the main driver internationally. I am sure, in another five years’ time, technology is going to change the full paradigm of healthcare globally. So, our basic idea was to adopt innovative business models to see how we can combine these changes in medicine, science and technology to meet the healthcare needs in India, so that everything doesn’t have to be done in a traditional way anymore. That’s really the mindset with which we are approaching our entire business and HistoXpert is an example of that, taking the sub-specialties up. And the other thing is that histopathology has been quite a generalised space, though in reality, every pathologist has been specialised in their respective areas like lung biopsy, skin biopsy etc.
Since every aspect in medicine is now being focused as specialised areas, it is time to give credence to this sub-specialty as well and create opportunities to put the best people for the best job.

How is it going to make a real impact to the user, means, hospitals in India?
Although histopathology has been traditionally followed
as a diagnostics segment in the industry, for any individual player or individual hospital, it has been largely a fragmented market. Every hospital, even the big ones, will have a maximum of 10 to 15 samples a day. When it happens at such small scale, they can never afford to have the best technologies and the best set of people. Thus, mostly everything is done in a very substandard way. That’s why we thought: Let’s find a way that we will be able to use technology in a centralised manner by which we will be able to provide the best personal service and better quality of reports and also leverage the best technology. We believe that it will not only make better commercial sense for the users, we will also be able to maintain better quality in the reports and also help them aspire to and move toward higher technologies. Going forward, digitisation in histopathology will take the service to a much higher level wherein many more subspecialties and specialists from different parts of the world can also get connected for better analysis of results. Integrated with Al kind of processes, this will also enable crowd sourcing and large-scale analysis of big data.

What is the service model that you are going to follow in this? Will you have centres in your partner hospitals or make it centralised?
We will have both models and it will be different for different partners according to their requirement. In some cases, we will just pick up the samples and bring it to our central lab and for some we will digitise it and send it. We will have direct labs in some hospitals and will pick up samples from a few others. Also, we will actually have wet labs in some hospitals plus digitisation and interpretation. So, we have created broadly three models to make it flexible for us to be able to serve the needs of every partner.

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