Technology Integrated Patient Treatment - Faster & Precise Healthcare
well-versed in handling Pharmaceuticals and Medical devices
Tell us your experience in the Healthcare industry extending over 30+ years. What are the major changes you have come across for the betterment of the industry?
The first ten years had been with GlaxoSmithKline, and that particularly had been in the antiinfective segment. After the merger of SmithKline Beecham with GlaxoSmithKline the new entity had both penicillin and cephalosporins antibiotics in the Glaxo portfolio. The marketing of the medicines had been very competitive. We achieved excellent success in growing business brands for medicines such as Augmentin that became a leading brand. I’m so proud that it was during my time as a Category Manager of GSK, Augment in became not only the number one antibiotic in Sri Lanka but also the number one pharmaceutical product in the country. While my first ten years went in handling with medicines, in the next ten years, I worked as the Country Manager for two-key principles called Allergan and Abbott Medical Optics. These were focused business in ophthalmology. Under my leadership, the market share increased from about 11 percent to 51 percent in Sri Lanka in the Ophthalmology subsegment. Bringing new evolution medication in treating people with glaucoma, dry eyes, NSAIDs, were introduced to Sri Lanka during this period together with Aspheric and Multi focal Intra Ocular lenses were launched for the first time to Sri Lanka. My third ten years, I have worked for Delmege, and now I’m contributing to the growth of Sunshine Healthcare, which has been purely into medical devices. Manufacturers we represent from Sunshine Medical devices are Johnson & Johnson, 3M, Siemens Healthineers, and GE Healthcare are to name a few. Key changes which are now changing include technological innovation and invention, especially in medical devices, providing better medical solutions for underprivileged patients.
I personally see a lot of invention and innovation in the future with the use of artificial intelligence and technological advancement in the healthcare industry
How do you recognize the pharmaceutical requisites even before a pandemic like COVID-19? How do you collect data for patients to record time?
Within the Healthcare industry, big data is increasingly becoming key. Utilizing modern technological tools like AI and predictive analysis are helping the process to get fastest results in terms of Healthcare industry innovations. Developing a vaccine takes a long time; for that matter, pharmaceutical products or medical devices take a longer innovation/invention cycle. When COVID-19 hit us in early February 2020, we witnessed the rise of research and development for the coronavirus vaccines. Because of the development of artificial intelligence researchers were able to successfully come out with vaccines in fastest possible time.
What are the latest medical devices creating a buzz in the medical field, and how do you see the development in those areas?
One of the new areas in the field medical device is automation, for example in the lab segments in IVD ‘Biochemistry,’ ‘Immuno chemistry’ and ‘Hematology’. We see a lot of automation being used bringing in more accuracy and faster results with less human intervention. Same trend being seen in Imaging in CT, MRI scans, and others. Doctors state automation is helping in the next-generation sequencing of DNA, referring it as ‘Genomics’, where you analyse a person’s DNA and provide patient-precise medicine. It is becoming very popular in oncology and in infectious diseases. According to their genetics, the patients get treated by the doctors with personalized and customized medicines.
What steps are adopted to avail affordable medical assistance to patients without heavy financial support, and how has patient treatment become equal within the segmented community?
From a Sri Lankan point of view, I would say every Sri Lankan is blessed because, in our country, education and healthcare are completely free, irrespective of your economic status or age. Sri Lankans are blessed because the state incurs healthcare costs for its patients. But having said that, from a private sector point of view, especially in this region, I mean including India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, most of the patients can fall into the middle-income category. So we must bring quality medication and devices at affordable price. Please end with affirmative thoughts about the progress of the medical devices industry. I see a lot of invention and innovation using AI, where numerous technological advancements for precision medicine will come into play, especially in complexed areas such as oncology and infectious diseases. Computer-assisted surgeries will take the surgeries performed currently to the next level.