Dr. Angeli Misra is Director, Lifeline Laboratory – one of the premier advanced pathology laboratories of Delhi-NCR region. She brings with her an enormous experience of technical and service expertise spanning over 34 years in clinical pathology and 26 years as chief administrator and torchbearer in raising Lifeline Laboratory to meet the highest international standards. She has exhibited exceptional proficiency in Histopathology, Cytology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Immunology, Oncology, Hematology & Clinical Pathology. She completed her MD in Pathology with a gold medal from the All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, as well received the Mohan Lal Wig Gold Medal for her remarkable contribution in the field of Clinical Research (1989). She earlier completed her MBBS from Nagpur University. Her research works include contributions to Eli-Lilly Company; Zydus Byk Healthcare Ltd.; and L.G Life Sciences. She has excellent experience in administering skilled professionals to help achieve remarkable standards. Her own hard work in pathology and related disciplines has elevated the values and working of doctors and technicians in an outstanding manner. She is a philanthropist and supports and works for humanitarian causes such as ‘Healthcare for Under Privileged’, ‘Children under Spastic Society’ and animal shelter ‘Friendicoes’. She is working as a consultant to Jet Airways, Airport Authority of India, GAIL, HUDCO, IGNOU and LIC of India.
Digitization and IOT (Internet of Things) has become an integral part of the healthcare industry and reshaped the entire healthcare ecosystem, while being the prime driver of its growth. It plays a key role in diagnostics: from the prognosis of a medical condition or disease, to screening, to diagnosis, to deciding treatment, to monitoring the condition and its progression, to determine long-term treatment modalities and for the prevention of diseases, besides enabling extensive and intensive research in the healthcare arena.
Digital technology, robotic process automation and AI (Artificial Intelligence) assisted medical devices, and cloud-based data management platforms have enabled better connectivity all over the world and have opened up the floodgates of information sources for all, making the world a smaller place. It has helped the population in remote areas to gain access to affordable healthcare facilities, with able support from govt. initiatives and public-private entrepreneurial partnerships in this regard.
In the current Covid-19 pandemic and social distancing scenario, telemedicine has come into its own in a big way. Online consultations, virtual conferencing, remote control of equipment, electronic devices, and health-monitoring applications on smart phones and other such have gained immense significance and popularity, thus becoming common place. The IOT has enabled and brought about an unprecedented boost to life sciences research the world over. The diagnostics sector has emerged from linear growth pattern towards expansive growth overall through tremendous innovations in both software and hardware analytics.
The Covid-19 pandemic has ushered in an entire paradigm shift in the field of diagnostics, with regard to its scope and capacity. The demand and potential for upgraded equipment from the diagnostic equipment manufacturing industry too received a huge boost. Recognizing the enormous potential of the situation, the diagnostics industry was pushed to devise newer and innovative methods for testing, and implement the latest software applications, to scale-up to the demand of the burgeoning volume of tests required to be conducted, with quicker turnaround time, while maintaining a sharp focus on quality control, accuracy and affordability. A case in point is the introduction of the rapid antigen detection test in addition to the molecular tests to detect the presence of the Sars-CoV-2 virus, while bearing in mind the limitations of social distancing in the lockdown scenario, bridging the gap in the demand-supply chain, lack of skilled technicians, and managing and collating a humungous volume of data, while keeping up with the extensively spruced-up research and development in the field.
The diagnostics industry, through the integration of digitization and IOT, has spurred pathology laboratories and imaging centers to better utilize their equipment and monitor their usage, improve internal and external quality control standards, besides minimizing the downtime, as well as collate data for predictive maintenance and improved efficiency, thereby reducing equipment failures. Moreover, data analytics has led to improved patient support and personalized service through the use of digital epidemiology tools, chatbot assistants, AI applications, Electronic Health Record (EHR) guidance tools and rapid response test kits.
The diagnostics equipment manufacturing industry was egged on to make innovative changes in developing more efficient and sophisticated instruments, automation systems, software, and reagents, for protein quantification, cell biology, food safety, protein purification, gene expression, drug discovery and manufacture, and science education in life sciences applications.
Robotic process automation has emerged as a logical solution and the true harbinger of this enormous change at high-end diagnostic centers, along with digitization to cover the lacunae in the area of skilled lab technicians and personnel, as well as the delivery of improved precision and quicker results. The concept of cobots (smaller and lighter cooperative robots) is proving to be a more viable solution as an assistive tool in lab automation, thereby leading to better staff deployment. Encouraging a shift from manual processing to automated processing by adopting cloud based robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) will considerably cut down on human intervention and move from manual processing to automated processing in the areas of sample collection, sample and reagent handling, sample analysis, and diagnosis. It will further lead to seamless data organization, collation and management, for overall efficiency, precision, accuracy, quality control, and minimized human error in reporting, reducing human exposure to bio-hazards, thereby achieving higher safety standards for long-term economic sustainability. This will positively impact the overall level of health, disease awareness and preventive health strategies and encourage the endeavor towards making diagnostic services available to all sections of society in the remotest parts of the country.
Digitization has also led to remote training of staff, technicians and phlebotomists to improve and upscale their skills through online virtual training programs and workshops. This has brought about a huge improvement in overall productivity.
Responsible and structured digitization is a powerful tool for effective change management at all levels in an organization, leading to a reduction in costs for the patients, thereby enabling improved patient benefit, as well as for achieving financial goals for the organization in the long-term, while bearing in mind the increased need for cyber security, data privacy and protection.