"Profit should never come from the customer's pocket; it should come from floor efficiency," emphasised Arokiaswamy Velumani, the founder of the diagnostic chain 'Thyrocare,' during his keynote address at the BW Festival of Health Tech. Velumani stressed the importance of balancing financial returns with the core purpose of the healthcare community, which is to improve people's lives.
He reflected on how the fear of Covid-19 accelerated technological advancements in diagnostics. "PCR (polymerase chain reaction) or Accelerated Translational Grant for Commercialization (ATGC) is something no one knew about until Covid-19 emerged. Now, even antibodies have become familiar terms. That's the impact Covid-19 had on society," he explained.
Highlighting the evolution of laboratory technologies, Velumani mentioned the emergence of EPIC and LC MS. However, he noted that laboratory technologies were progressing at a slower pace. According to the founder of 'Thyrocare,' cloud technology has transformed the landscape. "Now we have labs in various countries, all controlled by a single cloud, ensuring speed and quality," he added.
Discussing the role of technology in diagnostics, Velumani highlighted the potential impact of AI in radiology, pathology, and diagnostics. "People in these fields may fear losing their jobs, but it's reminiscent of the initial concerns when computers were introduced. Today, we can't imagine a single day of work without computers. Similarly, AI will reshape the landscape and create new opportunities," he reassured.
Velumani proudly mentioned that 'Thyrocare' was a self-made company that never relied on external investments. He exclusively hired freshers and nurtured their talents, resulting in the retention of 2,500 employees. He concluded by stating that his healthcare services were the most cost-effective in India, contributing to a robust balance sheet with a 40 percent EBITA margin.
Velumani also shared his pioneering work, where he was the first to introduce barcodes on test tubes in 2002. This innovation allowed for complete automation in laboratories, where test tubes carrying barcodes were dispatched throughout the country for blood collection. He emphasised that his lab operates entirely remotely, a transformation introduced in laboratory technology in 2005.