When we talk about medical advancements, we talk about research, efforts, and innovations. But how many acknowledge the role of microscopes that continue to work behind the scenes to contribute to these advancements? Only a few!
Microscopes are an integral part of almost all research involving biological sciences. They also have evolved lately and undergone multiple transformations. Digital microscopes are one of the most significant representatives of this evolution. They can be portable and ergonomic, and their digital capabilities provide numerous benefits.
MedPrime, an emerging and promising player in India’s medical device sector, is a significant contributor in this realm. The company has come a long way and has built its success story from scratch. We recently interviewed Samrat, one of the founders and CEO of MedPrime, who candidly spoke about MedPrime’s exciting journey so far.
Here’s what Samrat shared.
What drove the inception of MedPrime?
MedPrime was born from the solid urge to contribute significantly to the Indian medical device manufacturing sector. All the other founders and the company’s team members resonate with the goal. We are a team that works in unison towards the goal of making worthwhile contributions and achieving high levels of client satisfaction.
MedPrime’s story of inception starts from our days in IIT Bombay, when I was involved in a mobile microscopy project for my Masters. As part of our project, we interviewed many experts and users for the microscope and gathered real-time suggestions and requirements to incorporate into our invention.
Our product was only a prototype, which didn’t have a commercial angle until then. When we took it to users, we understood what our product should have to make it to the market. One of them, for instance, was the microscope’s lens. Our product had a single lens initially, but our users expressed the need for multiple lenses. So, we went back and added the lenses they needed. Similarly, we added various other features.
We did it quite a few times until the prototype finally gained acceptance. Gradually, we realized our discovery’s potential. We decided to work on it and transformed it into our company’s first product. Some people we spoke with came back to us asking us to manufacture the microscope. That’s how MedPrime’s journey began!
What are the various challenges you face while running MedPrime?
We understand we are a niche product company and what we do isn’t very common. Hence, the challenges we face are also unique. The main one was the product’s acceptability. Our customers are thorough experts in their field. Hence, they are very particular about their requirements.
Implementing a behavioral shift from analogue to digitized microscopes was another challenge. Our customers have been users of conventional microscopes for years. Thus, encouraging them to accept the change and making them realize the benefits was an uphill task.
What are the current market trends?
Digital microscopy has a promising future. Of course, it will take time for the change to penetrate the market. But it will steadily happen. We are working towards it.
But if you look back, the overall trend was much different. The concept of routine reporting using digital microscopes was almost nonexistent. Apart from top-notch hospitals and cancer research centers, most labs used conventional binocular microscopes. Even then, they used microscope cameras connected to a computer but were limited only to discussing special cases and occasionally capturing images. They did not use it for routine reporting.
CILIKA is an attempt to create a behavioral shift, where we are encouraging users to do routine reporting via digital microscopes. During the pandemic, when physical travel and transport were impossible, the digital transfer of images significantly simplified and expedited patient service. The latter is precisely the objective while helping doctors view images more clearly and increasing diagnostic accuracy.
What is MedPrime’s vision?
We envision our innovations transforming pathology and diagnostics in each and every corner of the country. It isn’t only about delivering quality products, we believe in ensuring quality along with affordability and access.
What is Micalys?
Micalys is the future of pathology and digital microscopy. I will explain how. CILIKA bridged the gap between analog and digital systems. Initially, people considered CILIKA a digital image-capturing tool. But CILIKA proved its worth by enabling people to perform diagnosis and secondary consultation remotely.
Micalys is the next level of digital microscopy. It is a multifunctional microscopy platform for telepathology. It takes remote diagnosis one step further by enabling whole slide imaging and remote robotic control of the microscope.
Unlike Cilika, where the slide needs to be moved manually in order to look at all areas of the sample, Micalys’s automated whole slide scanning creates a digital representation of the entire sample that can be visualized, zoomed in or shared at your convenience.
While Cilika requires a user to focus the sample while live streaming the image for consultation, Micalys enables the viewer or the expert to control the microscope himself remotely via the internet. The user can move the sample; change the focus and magnification as per his requirement. This enables seamless observation and reporting.
Apart from this, Micalys can also support various Machine Learning based algorithms that can assist in diagnosis and reduce the workload of the pathologists.
What is MedPrime’s secret to success?
We are a 40+ employee company in its early stages, and we look to accomplish much more. If you ask why we’ve been as successful so far, there’s not one but many reasons.
The first one is our team. I can’t thank my team enough for its contribution. All our members are handpicked. I wouldn’t exaggerate by saying that we are the best team around. But we know what it takes to deliver customer delight, and that’s precisely the second reason and one of our key enablers of success. We value our customers’ requirements the most. We are here because they are. Hence, they allow us to contribute and prove our worth.
The third reason is continuous research and improvement. We know how dynamic our trade is and how quickly evolving our client’s needs are. Thus, we strive to meet most of their needs, if not all, ensuring that they are happy with what we are serving them.