Carlos Hernández
General Manager for Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean
Beckman Coulter Diagnostics
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View from the Top

Recovering the Ground Lost Due to COVID-19

By Miriam Bello | Fri, 04/23/2021 - 10:50

Q: How has your sepsis indicator been received in the Mexican market?

A: We presented it last year at many industry forums and it attracted a great deal of attention and interest, since sepsis cases have increased due to COVID-19 respiratory complications. However, further trials are needed for this solution to impact COVID-19 treatments. While sepsis has been recognized as a health priority, the high demand for resources to treat COVID-19 patients has diminished the impact of our indicator. We introduced the product last year. This year, we will make a concerted effort to position it in the recovering market. Our indicator can have a great impact in the ER but COVID-19 has taken over this area at the moment.

Q: Beckman Coulter was close to launching a COVID-19 serology test. How has this effort advanced?

A: We have released the test globally, along with additional versions. In Mexico, regulations have inhibited its introduction but we are hopeful that the regulatory authorities will soon look at their pending approvals for this and many other important developments for the industry.

Q: What is the impact of your Access Interleukin-6 (IL-6) development on COVID-19 patients?

A: IL-6 is a fully automated immunoassay designed to detect IL-6 levels in serum and plasma, which can aid physicians in identifying a severe inflammatory response to determine the risk from intubation in COVID-19 patients. This product is already available in Mexico as we submitted it for approval before the pandemic. This product is being used for COVID-19 cases even through it was not initially intended for this. Beckman Coulter commercializes this product together with our Dimer-D solution. Both of these developments offer useful parameters for monitoring COVID-19 patients. This product has also been introduced in the Puerto Rican market, where it is used by leading laboratories.

Q: How is Beckman Coulter adopting technological tools like AI in its practices?

A: Most of our focus is on the development of smart tools that improve diagnostic efficiency or that reduce the time required for a diagnosis. We offer digital options like our DxH ONE platform, which features digital components that allow big data analysis. All the data we generate stays in our laboratory information systems, meaning that we have huge unexplored and unexploited databases with large potential. DxH ONE allows data analysis, which facilitates decision-making and helps in identifying health trends among patients. The solution does not deliver automatic results because a medical professional needs to determine what is useful and what is not. Once the pandemic is over, we will continue exploiting these rich databases to deliver better results for clients and patients.

Q: What are the company’s plans for the Mexican market?

A: Aside from resuming our efforts on the sepsis indicator, we are focusing on further market penetration for our P2 PSA test, which is supported by our prostatic health index indicator (phi). This indicator, if used correctly, has been proven to avoid around 40 percent of prostate biopsies. Moreover, we are modernizing our hematology and chemical clinical platforms.

We are also actively promoting big data and data analysis through an expert eye that will transform and improve patient’s realities through prevention.

Q: How are you positing your solutions in the market amid COVID-19 limitations?

A: Beckman Coulter reformulated its approach and focused on what the market was looking for. This year, we are seeing quite a recovery in the use of diagnostic tests that were set aside during the critical months of the pandemic. We are focusing on encouraging this use among clients. We have had to find more clients, although our priority is to maintain our client base.

 

Beckman Coulter is a US manufacturer of analytical and diagnostic solutions that automates and innovates complex biomedical tests. In 2011, it merged with US-based Danaher Corp, which gathers companies focused on tests and measurements.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst