30 October 2020 | Interviews
BioSpectrum Asia spoke to Sigal Atzmon, Founder and CEO, Medix Global, London to find out more about the company’s growth plans in Asia.
London headquartered Medix Global, a provider of innovative, high quality, medical management solutions, is gradually expanding its business in Asia. With its recent entry into India, the company is geared to provide access of its global healthcare services to Indian customers. It has strong credentials for providing customers with fast-tracked and personalized medical solutions, from the right diagnosis to optimized treatment pathways. BioSpectrum Asia spoke to Sigal Atzmon, Founder and CEO, Medix Global, London to find out more about the company’s growth plans in Asia.
What are the major offerings at Medix Global for the APAC region?
Medix Global is a leading provider of innovative healthcare management solutions and APAC has been a significant focus of the group in recent years. Rather than focus on expansion in North America and particularly the US, we have decided to deploy an Asia First strategy and have made significant investment and expansion since we first set up our first office in Hong Kong in 2013. Today, our footprint in APAC includes offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Melbourne and most recently in Mumbai as well in addition to our offices in London and Tel Aviv. Our service offerings vary slightly depending on the market, but our range of services includes: personal medical case management; disease prevention management services; medical concierge & medical tourism, digital health & AI driven solutions; services for high mobility employees; home care, clinical strategy and medical governance services. It is important to clarify that Medix does not provide any form of treatment and does not replace the customer’s treating physician but rather offers value added personalised medical management solutions that empower patients and ensure they are receiving access and implementation of quality care no matter where they live. We pride ourselves in servicing customers in over 90 countries.
How has the pandemic impacted the healthcare services in APAC countries?
In the early days of the pandemic, when it started to spread and impact additional countries, we have seen that certain patients and also providers started to cancel or postpone check-ups, tests and elective procedures. Patients were more concerned with visiting a clinic or a hospital than managing their chronic condition and care was being delayed, leading to worse outcomes on the short & long term. But the most significant impact that the pandemic has had on the healthcare landscape is an understanding from regulators, patients, providers and payers both government and private insurers, that there is a strong and immediate need for rapid digitalisation and a fundamental change in the way we consume and provide healthcare services. At Medix, we have been providing remote and digitally enhanced services for many years and during the pandemic, we have seen an unprecedented increase in demand and need from our customers who were seeking support and guidance from the comfort and safety of their home.
How is the company planning its expansion in India? What challenges are you facing with the Indian healthcare system?
We see India as an important and strategic market for us and have a structured roadmap of expansion from both a geographic and services portfolio perspective. We have established our first office in Mumbai in June of this year and are looking forward to working with partners and different stakeholders in the eco-system. We are closely following the recent announcements and plans from both a federal and state level in India focusing on digitalisation of the healthcare sector in India which is very much aligned with our service offering and activities.
How do you foresee the trend of personalised medical case management in India?
We see significant opportunity for personal medical case management in India and over the years, we have had many customers from India who we have provided service to from our office in London and we have seen significant demand and need for our services. In today’s medical world, patients dealing with severe medical conditions, face an abundance of options treatments and decision points and simply do not have the tools or knowledge to make the right decision. Further, there is no single solution for a condition or ailment and every patient needs to be seen as a unique individual, taking all of their personal information, family history, genetic information, environmental factors, etc. into account when reviewing their case and through personalised medicine and the Medix personal medical case management service, we apply an holistic and multidisciplinary approach and ensure that a tailored action plan is being implemented. Across India, there are variations and inequalities of care, and access to both quality information and services may be a challenge. In our perspective, it doesn’t matter if you are based in Kolkata, Mumbai, Chandigarh or Jaipur, every patient deserves to have personalised and holistic care, with access to the expertise from the best specialists across India and/or globally. It is important that Medix does not provide any form of treatment, nor replace the patient’s treating physician but rather provides support and information to empower the patient to make informed decisions and receive access to the best care possible.
Which country in Asia could be the leader of digital and personalised medicine? Why?
Different countries across Asia have different approaches when it comes to the implementation and infrastructure that will enable digitalisation and personalisation of medical care. Singapore is a good example where the government and other stakeholders in the industry have created a sandbox programme to experience new digital health initiatives and given the Singaporean landscape which includes a solid combination of strong IT infrastructure, a robust public and private healthcare system, access to digital medical records under the National Electronic Health Record (NEHR) framework. While Singapore may be a good place to develop and test different solutions as a POC, the real opportunity is to scale them into markets like India, Indonesia, Thailand and others where both the need and market opportunities are significantly greater.
How are you leveraging digitisation across your service offerings?
At Medix, we see digitalisation as a fundamental component of our service offerings as all of our services are delivered remotely by design. By introducing additional digital functionalities and data driven solutions, we are able to offer a more flexible, accessible and enhanced customer experience that enables even greater personalisation. Further, digital tools are also a very good way to increase patient adherence and compliance while enabling remote monitoring of the patient’s progress.
Are you planning to launch any new service or solution in the future?
One service that we plan on launching in India and has been active in other markets is the Medix’ prevention and early detection service which focuses personalised assessment and tools to manage one’s risk to develop and/or early detect and prevent cancer, cardiovascular, stroke and diabetes. With the prevalence of diabetes and cardiovascular conditions in India, often referred to as the diabetes capital of the world, we see significant potential for this service which will provide tangible and actionable added value to both individuals and communities.
What are your major plans for 2021?
The pandemic has created even further demand for digital health solutions and for Medix services in particular. Specifically, for India, we see 2021 as a very important year for us and are looking forward to setting up additional offices in India and launching additional digital health services specifically focused on the Indian market. We see services that focus on prevention as a major opportunity.
Dr Manbeena Chawla