Lab Eyes Nationwide ExpansionThu, 11/01/2018 - 13:58
Q: How did Grupo Diagnóstico Proa’s business strategy evolve to make it one of the largest players among clinical laboratories?
A: Laboratorio Médico del Chopo, which would later become Grupo Diagnóstico Proa, turned 70 in September 2018. The company grew under three pillars: placing patients and their doctors at the center of its business strategy, bringing services closer to the patient’s home and providing accessible prices. We started as a single laboratory and now we have over 280 franchises.
From the start, the laboratory’s goal was to be a one-stop service provider for the most common tests required by doctors to save patients the need to visit multiple locations. The laboratory also incorporated radiology services. Rather than expand the existing location, we opened different branches to be closer to patients’ homes.
Q: What role does Grupo Diagnóstico Proa play in Mexico’s healthcare system and in increasing access to healthcare?
A: We have two clients: doctors and patients. The first are those who request the tests and the second are those who require them. Doctors diagnose and interpret the tests and we are the physician’s partners throughout the entire treatment. We are constantly organizing events and training sessions for doctors. We also have medical representatives who visit doctors on a monthly basis to collect their questions and to provide them with more information on existing tests.
Providing healthcare for all Mexicans is a challenge so big that it can only be addressed through joint efforts from all healthcare players. Our healthcare system is based on curing diseases instead of maintaining health through prevention. It is necessary for the public and private sectors to jointly develop a platform that allows the exchange of information, for instance through an electronic clinical file. Allowing individuals to have access through the cloud to all their medical data and to bring it to any institution the patient desires will allow care providers to increase the reach of their services and provide care to more people.
Q: Temasek and LIV Capital acquired 32 percent of Grupo Diagnóstico Proa’s assets. What does this acquisition mean for the company’s growth and local operations?
A: Among 25 venture capital firms, we chose those that best understood Grupo Diagnóstico Proa’s long-term plan: to expand throughout Mexico. We predict that the market will eventually consolidate into six to eight large players based on economies of scale, instead of the over 9,000 small laboratories that exist now. The alliance with Temasek and LIV Capital will give us the capital to continue growing and expand our reach to the rest of the country. If the conditions are right, Grupo Diagnóstico Proa will launch an IPO. We plan to continue opening offices in the states where we currently have no presence, preferably through an association or the acquisition a local laboratory chain. But if this is not possible, we are always prepared to open a new branch.
Q: What new services is the group developing to address Mexico’s changing medical needs?
A: From the start, Grupo Diagnóstico Proa focused on diabetics. First with glucose tests; then the glucose tolerance curve, which requires the introduction of glucose and measuring its digestion hourly, and lastly with hemoglobin glycosylate tests. This last one allows more precise monitoring of blood glucose. We also have a 72-hour blood test, which connects a small monitor that continuously measures the patient’s blood glucose over three days.
The group has strong capabilities in diagnostics and radiology, for which we are the largest group in Mexico with over 1,160 assets such as 27 MRI systems, 57 computed tomographers, 3 PET/CT, 183 ultrasounds, 182 general XR equipment, 82 mammography equipment and more than 600 other multi-purpose systems including densitometry, cardiology and colposcopy.