R. Subramanian, Vice President – Product Management and Business Development, Transasia Bio-Medicals talks about Connected Health Infrastructure and its Accelerated Acceptance
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the acceptance of connected healthcare infrastructure. Whether in pathology labs, clinical facilities, or hospitals, the focus is on improving operations through faster adoption of the latest technological advancements. In areas related to Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), HIS, cloud storage, applications, etc., laboratories and hospitals compete to provide better quality of services to patients and parties. stakeholders.
Digitization of laboratory medicine
It is a well-known fact that treatment decisions depend on the timely availability of reliable laboratory results. However, the majority of patients in India reside in regions that lack sophisticated laboratory infrastructure and therefore have to spend their time and money on travel. In such a scenario, the advent of digital technology can transform rural India and make the “New India” a reality.
Digital has reduced the barriers between patients and clinicians and clinicians and pathologists. A pathologist based in a metro or mini-metro can easily be consulted using smart phones via WhatsApp etc.
In fact, government institutes are in contact with manufacturers to bring digital technology to the level of SSPs. Manufacturers offer a full suite of medical instruments connected to LIMS and a webcam. This allows the doctor to generate formal reports, which can be retrieved during the patient’s follow-up visit. Additionally, a large amount of data is generated that can be used to generate a GIS for analysis.
In addition, the integration of collection centers and applications for patients and passengers guarantees convenient home collection. This has gone a long way in reducing patient travel and ensuring faster diagnosis and treatment, contributing to better outcomes.
With highly evolved AI tools, pathologists and clinicians can now invest their time and expertise to focus on assessing rare and complex cases. In addition, it also reduces the time spent on routine/manual slide reviews etc.
Additionally, digital records and reports ensure full traceability and easy retrieval by patient and clinicians anywhere, anytime.
Digital transformation is shaping the future of IVD labs and businesses in India in the following ways:
Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) integration: Today, data has become the focal point of all operations aimed at optimizing patient outcomes. Cloud-based LIMS and middleware solutions facilitate the merging of automated instruments within labs, across lab chains, ensuring quality, TAT and transforming traditional labs into “smart labs”.
Cloud-based platform for data security: The LIMS solution based on a secure cloud platform enables laboratories to store, document, share, analyze and manage data to standardize operations. Health informatics will be in demand in the future with the sharing of information between medical practitioners for better diagnosis and treatment. Cloud-based solutions ensure 24/7 data security and seamless data transfers between different locations at a fraction of the cost of running your own data center.
Moving from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance: From an operational perspective, downtime remains one of the top concerns for labs. Preventive maintenance days are quickly giving way to predictive maintenance. Leading diagnostics manufacturers offer automated instruments integrated with IoT and AI capabilities for predictive maintenance to limit downtime. This helps to increase customer satisfaction and minimize business loss. Devices with IoT capability can detect when specific components have faults or when they are approaching their expected end of life and communicate this to technical support. Timely actions can be initiated to resolve them – from alerting to scheduling maintenance, replacing parts or requesting an entirely new/upgraded device. IoT and AI tools are leveraged in these areas.
Inventory management: Remote monitoring is also used to assess the usage and consumption of reagents for each test as well as their expiration to enable efficient management of laboratory inventory and usage. Additionally, by analyzing actual usage data, the lab and supplier company can provide better customer service by planning consumable delivery in advance. This is particularly relevant for a diagnostic laboratory that faces a major challenge of optimizing capital equipment load capacities across different centers and ensuring faster TAT.
Minimize troubleshooting complexity: Capturing error codes and directly alerting personnel and support teams reduced the time needed for troubleshooting and reduced downtime. Additionally, leveraging equipment performance and understanding mean time between failures has greatly aided in balancing the load during critical hours. Much of this has been demonstrated in managing large numbers of COVID-related tests during the peak of the pandemic. Specialized software can be useful for monitoring the operation of medical devices at regular intervals to alert users to impending failures, etc.
24/7 remote access: Although nothing can replace personalized customer service, the IoT acts as a complement to “smarter” personalized customer service. In the traditional approach, a device manufacturer provides after-sales service to resolve a problem with the instrument in the event of a breakdown. This could result in repeated visits from the sales team to first diagnose the problem and then fix it. However, with the IoT, the service team can receive real-time reports. Technicians can remotely access the instrument and get information on performance and repair history and other details that can help them save time. This will further help the organization to improve its TAT and customer satisfaction.
Manage an ever-increasing workload: Effective use of LIMS and other software tools can help manage ever-increasing workload more effectively through remote monitoring and automation of all services including re-runs with minimal human intervention . Workload efficiency improvements of up to 20-30% have been seen in labs that have adopted these technologies and optimally managed workflow.
Troubleshooting quality issues: The software can provide real-time measurement of the performance of all devices. Results and statistics for quality control and calibrations can be easily accessed day-to-day.
Transasia offers its customers the comfort of connected devices
Transasia’s investments in cloud-based and IoT-based LIMS systems help equip laboratories with cutting-edge technology to improve treatment outcomes and enable better analytical insights. Its sophisticated software provides the team with real-time updates, prompting rapid response to prevent an outage. Plus, around-the-clock application support ensures a seamless lab workflow. In the future, IoT-enabled instruments will provide detailed information on reagent consumption and instrument usage. Additionally, they will aid in predictive maintenance, providing lab managers with vital information and thus improving lab profitability.