While the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on healthcare industry will play out over the next few quarters, the situation continues to look tough. India imports a variety of capital equipment, consumables, and disposables, including CT scanners, MRI machines, orthopedic implants, nebulizers, BP monitors, syringes, digital thermometers, gloves, and bandages from China.
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the MedTech supply chain is not yet completely known. As with the automotive and electronics industries, healthcare may experience interruptions in supplies that rely on raw materials and components made in China, or neighboring countries.
The MedTech industry has a reputation for being more resilient than other industries. Medical devices makers also rely on functioning supply chains – and those supply chains are experiencing a decent amount of disruption. The outbreak in the Asia-Pacific region is already delaying hardware and software installations and acceptance as health providers focus on managing the outbreak. Leading players may not feel the hit as much as smaller players in the MedTech industry, as the former usually have second sources of supplies of components and raw materials, and also import from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Europe. However, it is difficult for the smaller manufacturers to shift from the Chinese companies to other suppliers for complete assembled products.
Agappe Diagnostics Ltd.
COVID-19 pandemic is an unexpected and unsolicited episode. It has impacted the sales revenue, and created a dip in the bottom line in the end of March. March is historically the highest revenue month for Agappe, and the huge dip in the sales was really a concern. Of course, there was a bit of confusion in the month of March, but we came up with strategic plans to address the needs of our customers. All our field teammates were given work-from-home instructions, and they are currently using web-based platform for interactions. Logistics was a major challenge during the lock down and with the help of our sales and service team, we arranged dedicated logistic service to cater to the needy customers.
As the best partner in diagnostics, we are proud to announce one of the major milestones in Agappe’s history – the launch of RT-LAMP based reagents and device for COVID-19 detection under the know-how from Sri Chitra Thirunal Institute, Trivandrum. The product ChitraGeneLAMP-N is expected to be available in the market by the end of April 2020, thanks to efforts of the entire team behind this project. One of the other initiatives from Agappe is the introduction of hand sanitizer, which is going to be available from May 1, 2020. To update the customers about COVID-19, we have conducted multiple webinars on the diagnosis of COVID-19. We are also going to introduce the RT-PCR (Multiplex)-based reagents for COVID-19.
The current lockdown situation is one of the biggest learning experiences for Agappe, and we are going to have a differential sales strategy in the coming months. We have noticed the acceptance of webinars, online interconnecting platforms, and the web-based logistic network capabilities, and we are in the final stage of formulating a new unique platform to serve the customers even in such emergencies. We are also planning to enter the molecular diagnostic platform with more RT-LAMP and RT-PCR-based assays and instruments. We also plan to introduce innovative user-friendly platforms in molecular diagnostics.
Agappe is always known in the IVD industry for innovation and indigenization. Our patented highly cost-effective specific-protein system revolutionized the specific-protein testing. We are proud to be the first true manufacturer in India for 3-part hematology system, which is going be a game changer in the coming months. Now in similar way, we are coming up in molecular diagnostics platform with the indigenized product. Our commitment to customers, employees, society, and the nation will always remain our top priority, and we will make sure that all our internal and external customers are well answered in the coming months. Our aim is bringing in more are more Made in India products, which will help our country to fly high.
Shimadzu Analytical (India) Pvt. Ltd./
Shimadzu Medical (India) Pvt. Ltd.
The challenges this pandemic tossed at the mankind are immensely disruptive. These recent times have seen even the most progressive and developed nations of the world struggling to strike the balance between fighting the virus on the healthcare front and trying to save the economies from the impact due to lockdown strategies.
India being no exception, the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic in India has been hugely disruptive.
Shimadzu is committed to caring for the health and well-being of its employees, customers, and communities.
Shimadzu in India remains operational during these unprecedented times for supporting its customers and partners via telecommuting, remote support, and online trainings.
We are fulfilling all our obligations in accordance with the guidelines and restrictions issued by local governments and health authorities.
We have also created our SOP to keep social distancing and safety measures to be ready to resume full-fledged operations after the lockdown is lifted.
At the same time, as a company with the corporate philosophy of contributing to society through science and technology, we intend to develop products and technologies that can contribute to ameliorating the situation. We will make every effort to combat this crisis, applying full capabilities of the Shimadzu Group.
Director Medical Affairs,
Over the next couple of months and maybe even longer than that, our single goal is going to be to ensure we are able to manufacture and supply as many COVID-19 testing kits as required.
Our team at the manufacturing unit has been working hard since the last 5–6 weeks to ensure that we are able to manufacture a large number of kits, while the team at the QC lab is putting more than 100 percent to ensure that quality is not compromised in our endeavor to produce more test kits.
The management of Mylab Discovery is also ensuring that strategic partnerships are forged to meet the demands of the country. In order to scale up the operations and escalate faster delivery of testing kits, Mylab has recently partnered with Serum Institute of India’s CEO Adar Poonawalla and Abhijit Pawar, chairman of APG. Funds being invested will be used for scaling the production of COVID-19 testing kits and expansion of molecular diagnostic solutions. Automated instruments have been added to the manufacturing facility to increase its production capacity.
In another major step to make India self-reliant in COVID-19 testing, Mylab has also collaborated with Kiran Mazumdar Shaw’s Syngene to secure a steady supply of indigenously made raw materials.
Mylab Discovery Solutions is also taking steps to ensure COVID-19 testing associated lab consumables such as RNA extraction kits are manufactured at a fast pace in keeping with the demand.
Since our kits can be used on most PCR instruments, we are working with various manufacturers of RT-PCR instruments, and they have been generous enough to provide online and onsite support, wherever required. Understanding the sincerity of our efforts, some of our erstwhile team members have rejoined the organization to contribute to the cause.
One unprecedented challenge that all of us as a nation, and we specifically as manufacturers, face is the ability to carry out large-scale testing of suspected cases, contacts of known cases, or even asymptomatic individuals living in areas of high prevalence of the disease.
COVID-19 truly has been a black swan event for India and the world. The crisis unfolded just over a few months, and the world today would have been unimaginable even 6 months ago. This is a particularly trying time for businesses, facing a complete shutdown of demand, and the resultant cash flow issues.
While InnAccel is battling some of these same issues, as a medical technology company, we have been able to maintain our operations, with minimal staff in the office, based on requirements, and the rest working from home. While COVID preparation has completely stopped purchases of non-COVID-related items by hospitals, InnAccel is fortunate in that it has two unique products for COVID management that allow us to contribute to solving this crisis. VAPCare is a USFDA-approved system that can keep our doctors and nurses safe from infection in the ICU, by automating the highly risky step of manual suctioning of infected oral secretions in ventilated patients. We recently launched Saans Pro – a non-invasive ventilation system that can be used before invasive mechanical ventilation, an option that is being increasingly used in the US and the UK, given the high rates of death (up to 80%) in patients on invasive ventilation. InnAccel has been working hard to rebuild its supply chains in light of COVID-related disruptions, and should be ready to ramp up manufacturing of these two products within a month. We are in active discussions with several state governments and private hospitals to deploy these devices in their COVID facilities.
Over the next 2 months, we have a two-fold strategy – establish our technologies to save lives of COVID patients and our healthcare warriors on the frontlines, while ensuring that the entire InnAccel team stays healthy and COVID-free as we work to overcome this crisis.