Neuberg-Anand to offer post-MD fellowship courseDecember 13, 2018
As advances in genomics and bioinformatics revolutionize the field of diagnostics, the medical fraternity in India is forced to play catch up. This is the idea behind the creation of Neuberg Anand Academy of Laboratory Medicine (NAALM), a new school for pathologists and other specialists. The aim behind this first-of-its kind project is to create a unique platform for academics and encourage research in this field.
Neuberg founder and managing director GSK Velu is unambiguous about his objective. “Low awareness about next generation diagnostics is a key challenge in Indian healthcare today. This is true across healthcare providers as well as seekers. So, we want to first create awareness among the decision makers, which is the medical fraternity, by giving them a live exposure to the new tests and processes.”
The potential for the clinical application of genomic technologies, despite their relative novelty, is vast. They offer a wide range of opportunities across medical specialities to ensure a more accurate diagnosis and treatment. But these benefits
will not reach the needy unless the clinician is familiar with these possibilities.
While many new-generation clinicians are already exposed to such technologies and are quick to adopt the new methods, especially in the metros and urban areas, awareness is still very low among old-school practitioners, particularly in semi urban and rural areas. Similarly, there is also a severe shortage of technicians who can handle these new technologies.
The diagnostics education and research initiative under NAALM is expected to not only help fill the gap to a certain extent, but also trigger more such initiatives in the industry to address the need. Large-scale awareness will automatically lead to better availability and affordability, which are the other big challenges in the adoption of these new technologies in India.
NAALM is a not-for-profit foundation set up by Neuberg Diagnostics, an international diagnostic alliance, to provide fellowship programmes in the fields of laboratory medicine and laboratory management to MD/DNBs in the specialties of pathology, microbiology, biochemistry and transfusion medicine. DCPs with one year experience can also apply for this programme, which will start from this year.
Neuberg, an alliance of established diagnostic chains from India, Sri Lanka, South Africa and UAE, has a proven skill-set and experienced resources in different areas of diagnostics. It claims to have at least three world class global reference laboratories located in Bangalore, Ahmedabad
and Durban (South Africa), carrying out an advanced range of testing using new generation in vitro diagnostic techniques, total lab automation and big data analytics supported by a robust laboratory information system.
The NAALM Foundation has already tied up with Sri Devraj Urs Academy of Higher Education & Research, Karnataka, and is also talking to other universities and research and education institutions in different regions to get its programmes affiliated with them.
I N T E R V I E W
“We will reinvest revenue from NAALM back to education and research”
What was the inspiration behind NAALM?
Neuberg Diagnostics was formed with a strategic vision that it will be in the top league of diagnostic industry in terms of technology, experience and volume, as it is an alliance of five leading and most reputed diagnostic chains from India and other countries. We wanted to pursue the same vision by developing the overall sector as well as the market by creating awareness about the benefits of these modern technologies. We also want to encouraging research in this field for future growth in technology.
Why did you start this programme under a non-profit entity?
With this, we wanted to create a platform that will contribute immensely to the growth of the sector; by building awareness through education. So, it cannot be mixed with business. Since we won’t have any external investors, at least for the next 3-4 years, we are free to invest in such activities that won’t result in revenue and profit immediately. In the future too, we would like to continue to invest in it by putting back the income from this venture into education and research.
How do you want to take Neuberg forward in the emerging healthcare trend?
Neuberg Diagnostics, which has a combined diagnostic expertise of over 250 years, brings advanced diagnostics that is affordable to people across the globe. It is an alliance of top laboratories like Anand Diagnostic Laboratory, Supratech Micropath, Ehrlich Lab, Global Labs and Minerva Labs, which have already made their presence felt in their respective markets such as Karnataka, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, South Africa and UAE. It will have three global reference laboratories located in Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Durban (South Africa), carrying out an advanced range of testing using new-generation in vitro diagnostic techniques along with total lab automation and big data analytics tools. Currently, there are 10 labs and 40 satellite centres for all the five companies put together in southern and western India. The plan is to increase it to 100 in the next two years. About ₹450 crore has been already invested in acquiring major sharesand upgrading the labs. The plan is to invest another ₹300 crore for expansion in coming years to bring in, and develop, new technologies, which include acquisitions in the US and Europe.