19 November 2021 | Views
A new initiative by Pune-based startup Mylab, called 'Powered by Mylab', is aimed at empowering entrepreneurs in the hinterland of India to build molecular diagnostics lab to make diagnostics accessible to remote corners of the country. To find out more about this interesting venture, BioSpectrum had a chat with Hasmukh Rawal, Managing Director & Founder of Mylab Discovery Solutions.
What is the objective behind this model?
The model is aimed at making diagnostics accessible to remote corners of the country. We want the labs that have molecular diagnostics facility to move towards automation and the ones that do not offer molecular, to expand their capabilities in this area.
The pandemic highlighted the paramount importance of molecular diagnostic assays in detecting and managing infectious diseases. The technology contributed vitally to case identification, isolation, contact tracing, and infection control measures during the pandemic. Further, molecular diagnostic has been playing a crucial role in the screening, detection and monitoring of various life-threatening diseases such as Chikungunya, dengue, HIV, Tuberculosis and many more. Hence, it is imperative that we focus on increasing the footprint of molecular diagnostics labs in the country for faster and accurate detection of infectious diseases, and ensure timely treatment.
How will this model benefit entrepreneurs and Mylab?
There are many entrepreneurs and small lab owners who are looking to either set up labs or upgrade their existing labs. However, establishing a conventional molecular diagnostics lab is expensive because it requires intensive capital investment and operational expenses. It needs space of 700-1500 sqft, several equipment and qualified personnel to establish a molecular lab. The complexities of workflow is also one of the reasons why micro-entrepreneurs do not venture into establishing molecular labs. With ‘Powered by Mylab’ we attempt to address these challenges and help entrepreneurs set up efficient molecular diagnostic labs using automated Compact-XL platform which can perform RT-PCR tests for 100s of disease including infectious diseases, cancer, and genetic diseases.
Key Features of ‘Powered by Mylab’ Model-
Low Investment High Automation: Mylab will bring down the investment cost by using its Lab in a Box concept where Compact XL – the automated system for molecular testing can be set-up in less than 200 sqft of space with just a few equipment and be operated by low-skill manpower
Support in entire Entire Lab Setup will be provided by the lab operations team of Mylab. This includes machine installations, training, and validations.
Revenue sharing model - No new infrastructure development. Labs which do not have a molecular facility can also benefit with upgradation.
Application Handholding - Dedicated Application expert will provide training to the Lab members and become application experts
Marketing Support in Testing programs - Marketing support at local level and consulting support on how to participate in local health programs
Support in Regulatory Processes – Consulting support on how to prepare themselves for NABL and CAP accreditations.
We aim to make diagnostics reach closer to people and empower thousands of entrepreneurs to start their journeys in molecular diagnostics and enter the clinical lab testing marketplace.
This initiative is our effort to help entrepreneurs realize their entrepreneurial aspirations, scale-up innovative initiatives and chalk-out sustainable, long-term strategies in molecular diagnostics. We are trying to create a more enabling environment to support entrepreneurship in the hinterland of India.
How many tests these labs can perform?
90+ molecular tests for common diseases can be tested including COVID-19 Testing, HIV Testing, HBV Testing, HCV Testing, NAT Testing, Tuberculosis, Chikungunya, Dengue, Malaria, and Various Bacterial Infections, Cancer and genetic diseases.
How much investment do you need to set up these labs?
These labs require very low initial investment from the entrepreneurs.
How many labs have you set up so far? How are they performing in terms of customer footfalls and earnings?
We have helped set up about 30 labs across tier 2 cities such as Jaipur, Ujjain, Patna Pune, Indore, etc., in India. The labs have served more than 5 lakh tests for Covid already and are conducting a variety of tests such as HIV, HBC, HCV.
Will these labs be Mylab branded?
The labs will be branded with the lab owner’s name and will only mention ‘Powered by Mylab’.
Will the labs be maintained regularly by Mylab?
Yes, Mylab will help the entrepreneurs to regularly maintain the lab.
How many labs you plan to set up by this FY end?
In 2022, we plan to help more than 200 partners.
How profitable it is to run a molecular diagnostic lab?
It is decently profitable due to its high demand and scope. Besides, molecular technologies offer an effective solution for infectious disease diagnostics, because they are agile, fast and flexible. The lab owners will be able to provide quicker and quality diagnostic results to their customers. And they will not need to send patient samples to sophisticated labs, thus save time and cost.
Moreover, it presents an opportunity for many entrepreneurs especially in smaller cities to realize their ambitions to start an entrepreneurial venture.
Dr Manbeena Chawla