Role of Private Providers in taking Diagnostics to the Last Mile

19th December 2019

Author: Mr Pavan Sannuti and Dr Vandana Sarda

Blog CATEGORY: Diagnostics 4.0 Webinars


Dr. Shuchin Bajaj, he is the Founder Director of Ujala Cygnus Hospitals. Ujala Cygnus is currently operating twelve hospitals in Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana with a combined bed strength of 1200 beds and more than 1800 employees, with a vision to provide super-specialty and emergency healthcare to district towns of the states of India where no such facilities currently exist. It aims to expand to 15 hospitals with a bed strength of 2000 beds and revenues of Rs 500 crore by the end of 2022.

After completing his MBBS from PGIMS, Rohtak, Shuchin did his Doctorate in Internal Medicines (MD) from Dr S N Medical College and his Advanced Program in Strategic Management from I.I.M. Calcutta in 2013 and Advanced Program in Cardiac Emergencies from Boston University in 2014.

Dr Bajaj was recipient of 2015 Chevening Gurukul Fellowship, selected for Fellowship at INSEAD, France in 2017, is an Aspire Fellow and has also completed the Elite Seed Transformation Program conducted by the Stanford Global Business School.

Shuchin is on the board of a number of national prominent NGOs and is part of the Healthcare impact Track of Xynteo/India2022 coalition and has received numerous awards and accolades including the Most Promising Healthcare Brand and Best Upcoming Hospital Chain. Dr Bajaj and the Cygnus Team were recently featured by the Economic Times in a feature on Entrepreneurs Leading Disruptive Change. Dr Bajaj is also the winner of the Healthcare Leader of the Year, 2017 Awards.

He is an avid Healthcare Investor and is associated with multiple Health Tech Companies as investor, Board Member and mentor. He is on the TBIU Board of IIT, Delhi and is also a member of the Advisory Council to the Minister of State for Health, Shri Ashwini Choubey.

And may I add Shuchin is an ardent music lover and a U2 fan since childhood


10:24 – 10:40  Why do we work on this? Why am I so passionate about it as literally we have 30 hour days every day working on all these things. Because it’s been a passion for me throughout so Cygnus was formed because of some personal experiences.
11:47 – 12:12  And it’s always been a struggle to match quality versus pricing and that is the reason this whole thing was set up and as we go along, I will show you as well of how we’ve been trying to work in these small towns to help these people and that is why we’ve been champions of Ayushman since the very beginning of the scheme.
15:08 – 15:27  Because I think we underestimate the cost of the disease that we are all bearing. So if we see the next slide, you could see that you know, the burden of non-compliance and not being diagnosed is a burden that none of us truly understand.
16:57 – 17:32  So future generation, entire generation will be destroyed because of the fact that we could not detect his diabetes in time he did not have the diagnostics in his village and he was obviously loath to travel to the city, spending one full day of lost earnings and travel costs and sometimes maybe stay costs as well because it takes time for the doctor to run his lab tests and gets the reports next morning. These are some things that he will never do and he will just keep waiting till it is unavoidable for him to go to the hospital. By that time it is usually too late.
17:47 – 18:07 We don’t if we don’t detect these diseases in time the diagnostics are not available at his doorstep, if there is not enough technology being employed that we can have point of care diagnostics point of care devices. These non-communicable diseases, the toll that they take are extremely high.
#1 18:30 – 8:44I feel that the only way to control costs is to make sure that people don’t have the disease. preventive health care is extremely important. Early and timely detection of disease is extremely important.
#2 19:57 – 20:11 And some of these problems are in some of our innovators also, we are so in love with what we do that we fail to see what the community actually wants, even if it is at the risk of breaking the community’s head.
20:25 – 20:43  We think of delivering the solution first and focusing on the problem and the community later. This is sometimes what I’ve seen in many of the companies that are offering solutions. They think that they are the best ever solution in mind, and they will offer it to the hospital.
22:29 – 22:53  All these steps are not linear, they will not come one after the other, they are all interplaying in a complex situation all the time, and they will always be influencing each other on a continuous basis. We have to make sure that we deliver all these steps in an integrated manner to make sure that the innovation spreads rather than dying out very quickly
23:09 – 23:41  There are only three types which I personally feel are right so one is the consumer focused innovation which changes the way consumers buy and use healthcare second is a technology focused, it has new products and treatment and plans of care using technology like wearables or digital devices or, or any other technology that helps either a doctor or a deliverer to a patient to access healthcare in a different way. Or there are business models, which either horizontally or vertically integrate separate healthcare organization activities
24:37 – 25:09  so anybody who’s an innovator or entrepreneur who is listening in today. To First of all, position your innovation in one of these three places that I talked about in the previous slide, and see that what forces are acting on your innovation to either propel it positively, or stop it and bring it into a negative direction. So what we feel is that only six forces are acting mostly we can drill down all the forces acting on your innovation to six parts
#3 29:23 – 30:07  One is the in the private healthcare versus public healthcare, we have to realize that the incentives of the organizations are different in a public health care, whereas the incentives may be the bigger picture on how to actually drive as innovation that prevents long term. expenses of the patient. Brings down the intangible and the indirect costs of the disease as well. In a private healthcare setting, it is mostly on whether and if we can monetize the innovation, whether it leads to short term benefits, and whether we can actually show very quick and tangible results to the patient using the technology
#4 31:15 – 31:36  And I am seen very clearly that if you make somebody a part of your early prototype You will get collaborators and champions for your device or your technology. But if you show them a finished product, you will get only critics of that they will only point out your shortcomings. This is a very scientifically established fact
32:27 – 32:48  once you have introduced that innovation into that system, whether it be private health care, whether it is a clinic doctor, whether it is a hospital doctor, you have to be very clear that you have to dedicate your full energy funding staff and infrastructure on the implementation of it, whether it is a pilot or the first installation.
33:38 – 33:54  So we’d have to think of it as a very dedicated infrastructural project that has to have a full funding and project plan ready rather than just as an initial installation or a pilot, that we can do it at our own sweet time and will, it doesn’t really work
#5 33:56 – 34:20  Context is king. We really stress it again and again and again that if you don’t have context, if you want to implement the solution that’s worthy of South Bombay or South Delhi, to a place which is in the rural Haryana belt, it will not work however, high technology or however good it may be. If you’re not seeing the context of the deliveries. It will not work.
34:20 – 35:10  Once you started the Installation of the pilot very important to have it ongoing monitoring and timely feedback about the progress to your own team as well as to the team that is working with you on the delivery side and clearly evaluate and demonstrate the cost effectiveness, so, you have to monitor it and then clearly do a pre and post cost as well as the effectiveness of the innovation. And you also have to clearly demonstrate that there will be minimum unintended consequence, like unintended consequences can be for any project or any innovation like side effects of a drug right but we have to show that they will be minimum
#6 36:23 – 36:43  You know, this is such a brilliant technology why is the hospital not adopted, we have no idea. And but that is what I tell them if you have no idea that means you are not employing any design at all, you’re just trying to pull the baby out with its head, head will break but it will not come out. If you have no idea that means you are wrong, and not that the hospital is wrong.
39:27 – 39.58  So when we started out, if you see there are five ways of healthcare mostly, we had solved most of them except one. Accessibility, availability, affordability, appropriateness accountability. We were accountable. We were appropriate. We were accredited by an NABH. We were accessible and available to the doorsteps. The only problem was since we were a private company, we had to be sustained. And also affordability was a factor that had to be solved.
#7 41:33 – 41.40  There is a lot of money out there, but we should know how to access it and make sure that the unit economics works well.
42:19 – 43:38  First of all, is just enjoy the journey that you’re doing right now don’t focus on the end a lot. Because this is a journey that will take you to various places you may have to flip around and and and change your models well a lot of times but don’t worry about it everybody of us does that. We started out with a very different model went into a very different model and are now pursuing a very different model. Don’t worry about the changes and the pivoting that you see second of course is that we are in a sector like this that if you are in it only for the money, you should get out right now because money is not something that is a focus here. If you are just here to make money, it is a very difficult path to make money there are many other easier path. This is more about Saraswathi than laxmi. So follow your passion, follow the innovation, the money really come in on its own later Don’t worry about it. And finally, enjoy The journey as much as possible, don’t worry about the outcomes. This won’t last long you will soon be very big companies and talking to investors and dealing with them. So that is not enjoy the beat the start of this voyage. Just have a lot of fun.
#8 47:11 – 47:40  sometimes we need to change the model as we go along. So I think it’s more how well the team is placed to take setbacks in their journey, how well they are equipped to pivot how diligent they are how perseverable their team is because brilliance and flashes of brilliance go away very quickly, but perseverance, I feel is the only thing that takes you along


Many of you participated in the MedTechConnect All Partner Workshop in July at the Cyient office in Hyderabad. We had a truly diverse crowd, with approximately 40 partners from organizations across the value chain present in the room. to ideate, collaborate and create solutions to very specific problem statements. We worked through structured and interactive sessions to identify specific areas in which we could drive impact.

We also left the room agreeing that it was important for the ecosystem to continuously meet, and this Webinar series is an attempt to do just that.

Diagnostics 4.0 webinar series is divided into Seasons, each season will have episodes. The first season is Diagnostics at the Last Mile. Diagnostics 4.0 is the latest offering and endeavour from MedTechConnect in an effort to strengthen the medical technologies ecosystem in India.

During our third episode we had the honour of talking with Dr. Shuchin Bajaj. He spoke with Dr. Vandana and Mr. Pavan

For the new partners, MedTechConnect is a collaborative healthcare ecosystem platform led by Cyient and Xynteo/India2022 coalition.  Our vision is to accelerate the journey of medical technology from lab to market and help improve affordability, availability, and accessibility of these solutions to the last mile.

Founded in 1991, Cyient provides engineering and technology solutions to global industry leaders. We deliver innovative solutions that add value to businesses through the deployment of robust processes and state-of-the-art technology. We work across multiple industries, from Aerospace to communications, transportation, energy. We have also been active in the Medical technology space for the past 10 years, and is one of our fastest growing industries.CYIENT is a partner in the Xynteo/India2022 coalition and lead the Healthcare impact track.

Xynteo is a platform for galvanising leaders and catalysing ideas – and fusing them into new projects, for new growth. India2022 is a business – led coalition committed to leveraging the power of collaboration to unlock future – fit growth opportunities in India , aligned with the government of India’s development goals. In Healthcare we are looking to make affordable diagnostics accessible to as many people as possible.

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MedtechConnect is to identify innovative medtech solutions and help them scale through innovative models, particularly to reach the underserved population.

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