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I always try to look on the bright side of things. And, if there’s any silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has definitely accelerated the application of modern technology to meet the emerging need for at-home, on-demand medical diagnostics. Since people have been mandated to shelter in place or are otherwise afraid to go out regardless as they might contract the deadly disease.
This is an insight shared by Toshi Zialcita, operations head of Lab@Home, a start-up mobile diagnostics provider that launched just when the pandemic was declared by the second quarter of 2020. The company affirms that there has definitely been a surge in demand for home service lab tests since then. He clarifies though that plans to roll out Lab@Home had already been in place even before COVID-19 broke out.
“The timing could be called fortuitous but we also see it as an affirmation of our foresight that on-demand diagnostics will be an important mode of delivering healthcare services in the future, especially in the Philippines and with its emerging demographics,” says Zialcita.
“We believe this is the future of healthcare and wellness in the Philippines as it is already happening in other parts of the world, and it was just a matter of time before mobile and on-demand medical diagnostics became the way to go here in the country,” adds Dr. Austin Gawaran, Lab@Home’s medical director.
The particular demographic that Zialcita is referring to is an increasing population of elderly adults with difficulty going out of their residences for their personal needs. Their caregivers or guardians themselves—usually their children—are millennials who are digital natives and are used to the convenience of technology working for them to ease their busy daily schedules.
Lab@Home seeks to bring the power of technology to serve a growing demographic of
patients who require at-home healthcare services, such as elderly adults.
Given these factors, the healthcare industry is ripe for on-demand diagnostics that cater to today’s modern, tech-driven lifestyle. This is the vision shared by Zialcita and Gawaran along with the rest of the company’s founders, who are, established personalities in their own right in the global tech start-up community.
Lab@Home chief executive Aaron Kemmer is an experienced tech investor who launched, among many projects, Made In Space—an endeavor for enabling “off-world manufacturing” and paving the way for successful human existence in other planets. Business strategy head John Kemmer similarly played a pivotal role in building tech start-ups such as Magic, an on-demand virtual personal assistant, and growing its scale exponentially.
In the Philippines, while this type of home service laboratory testing has been around for quite some time already, Lab@Home sets itself apart from other providers through a stronger, more convenient, technology-based system such as setting appointments online and through its own app.
Lab@Home’s service is also uniquely designed to be more responsive and adaptive by partnering with several laboratories and diagnostics centers. This allows scheduling and servicing closer to each patient wherever they may be, and also offers a wider variety of tests that only specialized laboratories may be able to accomplish.
“Aside from the usual blood chemistry tests—CBC, electrolytes, and creatinine— our platform also offers imaging such as x-ray and ultrasound, as well as ECG or heart monitoring, which we discovered is in huge demand by our customers,” says Gawaran. Of course, RT–PCR or the commonly known nasal or oral swab for COVID-19continues to be in high demand. “For this service, turnaround time is critical and that’s what we always aim to deliver,” he says.
Lab@Home is at work to continuously improve its operational platform and enhance its on-demand nature, as well as to expand its diagnostics offerings to include the latest in biomarker technology that can help detect critical illnesses such as cancer. For Aaron Kemmer, the future of healthcare lies in enabling a better quality of life for all, and it starts with a more proactive approach from each individual.
“Lab@Home came about with the dream of improving chances for a longer, happier, and healthier life by providing easier access to personal health data. It is our mission to bring the benefits of modern healthcare technology to underserved Filipinos,” he says.
Similarly, John Kemmer adds, “People, unfortunately, have surprisingly little info about their personal health. Lab@Home is set out to change that—making it easy and convenient to get your vital health data frequently, and to better manage your health with your healthcare provider or doctor.”
Thanks to Lab@Home, the power of technology is now at the fingertips of Filipino patients and can help them achieve a better quality of life—bringing healthcare practices in the country up to par to world standards.
“Healthcare is a universal need. However, in developing countries like the Philippines, the reality is still a lot of people do not have access to quality healthcare. Lab@Home seeks to be the answer—utilizing technology as the bridge to provide access to more patients. Lab@Home is here to disrupt diagnostics and provide safe, convenient, and accurate lab tests from the comfort of your home,” concludes Gawaran.
Visit www.labathome.ph or call +63 917 886 HOME (4663).
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