Strength in a Diversified PortfolioTue, 07/09/2019 - 14:41
Q: What strategies have you implemented to remain a leader in clinical analysis in southern Mexico?
A: We are regulated by various quality standards, including ISO 9000. We constantly search for ways to improve, both from a clinical and administrative perspective. We are based in Villahermosa but our services reach the whole central and southern region of the country. We are active in Tabasco, Campeche, Quintana Roo, Yucatan, Chiapas and part of Veracruz. We are not physically present in all these states with a laboratory of our own but we work with various local laboratories. Our testing facilities are in Villahermosa, Merida and Queretaro. In Mexico City, we are in negotiations to offer our services to a hospital and we have a presence in Guadalajara but under a different name, also carrying out the administrative management of a laboratory there. We are also looking at potential opportunities in the north.
Our main differentiator is service. Anyone can compete in terms of price. We want to offer a high-speed service, so people with urgent situations can be helped quickly. We also have advanced equipment for accurate and rapid testing.
Q: What is your most popular service from your biochemical and immunological analysis and genetic testing portfolios?
A: Generally, routine packages of complete checkups are the most common. These include a number of biometric indicators. You do not have to be sick to take these tests. We also offer specialized testing and if other laboratories do not have the required equipment, they ask us to conduct their tests. We offer DNA tests for example. We have a specific test where blood is taken and we can determine the patient’s ancestry. People can find out what parts of the world they come from. This test is quite popular and can also be used as an indicator of genetic predisposition to certain diseases.
Q: How did you become a service provider for smaller laboratories?
A: We started operations in 1993 by working with a clinic in Villahermosa. Doctors were helpful in providing feedback on our operations, which was ideal, considering we were new to the health sector. As we grew, we established our own laboratories and began to explore collaborations with others. We have advanced equipment for conducting highly reliable tests. One of these is Atellica, made by Siemens, but our equipment comes mainly from European suppliers.
Tests must be precise to reduce the amount of active ingredient wasted. Small laboratories that do not have access to this equipment need to have large volumes of samples to make their operations efficient. Without a certain number of patients, you have to throw your active ingredient away.
Q: How are innovations in technology and artificial intelligence impacting laboratory operations?
A: Advanced analytical testing equipment like ours allows us to test and gain the precise information that doctors need. They also generate large amounts of data that provide new insights into a patient’s health. Knowing where patients come from and what tests they undertake is also useful in determining what next steps we should take to grow our business across the region.
Generally, service operations have become much more dependent on digital platforms. Our website has been updated over the last two years and is now a portal for accessing test results. However, we have also been looking at possibly sharing test results with clients through alternative digital platforms, such as WhatsApp.
Q: How do you think laboratories can participate in prevention strategies?
A: Doctors recognized the importance of testing for early detection but were not walking the walk. People in general find it unnecessary. In Mexico and Latin America, the culture of selfcare is lacking. People think they are all going to be fine and grow old, so they do not even contract insurance. You do not have to be sick to go to a laboratory and have a checkup. Prevention is always the better option.