Today, no matter how much one tries to keep oneself healthy, every human being suffers from some kind of disease. In such a situation, he has to go to the doctor to get treatment, and for some of the diseases the doctor treats him only when his blood or urine is tested. Because only after testing the blood and urine, the doctor can find out what problem the person is facing.
In such a situation, we go to a Medical Laboratory to find the cause or solution of the problem arising in our body. Apart from this, research-related work is also carried out by pathologists in a pathology lab. So, starting a medical laboratory business is a commendable venture that not only serves a crucial healthcare need but also presents a promising entrepreneurial opportunity. Here in this article, we are going to tell you how to start a Medical Laboratory Business.
Table of Contents
What is a Medical Lab Business?
Before understanding the meaning of pathology, it is important for us to understand that in a Pathology Lab, by studying the patient’s blood, urine, tissues, cells, etc., it is found out which disease is causing the problem the patient is facing. Is being Even in common parlance, pathology means the study of disease. The basis of these studies is considered to be the results of medical research and biological research done so far and on the basis of that, the doctor starts the treatment of the patient.
What is meant to say is that we go to a Pathology Lab to find the cause or solution of the problem arising in our body. Only on the basis of the report of a Pathology Lab, does the doctor identify the patient’s disease and start its treatment. Apart from this, research-related work is also carried out by pathologists in a pathology lab.
Departments of the Labs
The work of a Pathology Lab is not only to test the fluids coming out of the body like blood and urine, but it has many departments based on its special work area, the brief description of which is as follows.
Hematology: In this field of investigation, diseases are detected by examining blood cells. What is meant to say is that such diseases that can be detected by testing blood come under this testing area of the Pathology Lab.
Immunology: This type of test can be done on a patient who has immune-related disorders like allergies, or autoimmune disorders.
Histopathology: This field of investigation is related to the examination of tissues that are removed from the body during the biopsy process and sent to the Pathology Lab for testing. For example: If a dental surgeon thinks that a patient may have oral cancer, he may send a piece of cheek tissue for testing to a lab that will determine whether it is cancer or not.
Cytology: A cytologist’s job is to examine individual cells. In which he is testing the cells of a person who has swelling or any wound and the doctor suspects that he may have cancer.
Medical microbiology: In this field of investigation, an attempt is made to find out what type of infection it is, whether it is a viral or bacterial infection.
Forensic pathology: In this investigation area or department of the pathology lab, autopsies of dead persons are done and the causes of death are determined by studying their tissues.
Molecular pathology: In this department of Pathology Lab, tests like DNA and RNA are done to determine the genetic defect or disease.
Clinical Chemistry: If we talk about medical tests that come under this field of investigation, examples are cholesterol tests, glucose tests, etc. While treating a diabetic patient, it becomes necessary for the doctor to find out what is the sugar level of the patient so that the doctor can determine the amount of insulin to be given.
Market Scope for Medical Lab Business
As a crucial component of the healthcare industry, pathology labs play a vital role in disease diagnosis and monitoring. In the healthcare industry, the demand for pathology services is evergreen. With the growing population and advancements in medical science, the need for accurate and reliable diagnostic services is on the rise. According to research the global pathology laboratories market was estimated at USD 312 billion in 2021 and it is expected to surpass around USD 612 billion by 2030, poised to grow at a CAGR of 7.81% from 2022 to 2030. This dynamic market presents a multitude of opportunities for entrepreneurs, healthcare professionals, and investors keen on venturing into this vital segment of the healthcare industry.
Get Training for Business
Only Individuals with a background in medical sciences, such as doctors, pathologists, biomedical scientists, or individuals with relevant educational qualifications, can start a pathology lab business. So, to embark on this journey, it’s essential to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge. Several reputed institutions and training centers across India offer specialized courses in pathology laboratory techniques. Institutes like the National Institute of Biologicals (NIB), the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), and various state medical colleges provide comprehensive training programs.
Investment in Medical Laboratory Business
Starting a Medical Laboratory Business requires a reasonable investment, which varies depending on the size and location of the lab. A basic setup with essential equipment like microscopes, centrifuges, analyzers, and refrigeration units, along with necessary infrastructure and licenses, costs between RS 4 to 5 lakhs. However, for a large, comprehensive laboratory with advanced diagnostic capabilities, the investment may range from INR 10 to 50 lakhs. Therefore, conduct thorough market research and develop a detailed business plan to accurately estimate the specific investment required for the chosen scope and scale of the pathology laboratory venture.
Location for Medical Laboratory Business
The space required for a Medical Laboratory Business varies depending on the size and services offered. A small to medium-sized pathology laboratory typically requires 500 to 2000 square feet of space. This should include sample collection, processing, microscopy, and a comfortable waiting area for patients. Larger laboratories with advanced diagnostic equipment and a wider range of services may require more extensive facilities. Also, the location of the laboratory should be a high-traffic area like nearby government or private hospitals or clinics. So, in such a situation, if your pathology lab is close to the hospital, that patient will only come to you.
Licenses for Medical Laboratory Business
Firstly, one must secure a registration or license from the local municipal corporation or the respective state health department. Additionally, it is imperative to acquire a Clinical Establishment License (CEL) from the appropriate state health authorities. Furthermore, a lab must obtain a Biomedical Waste Management Authorization from the State Pollution Control Board to handle and dispose of medical waste responsibly. It is also essential to register under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) Act, which focuses on quality assurance and proficiency testing. Finally, compliance with other relevant laws and regulations, such as the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
Equipment for Medical Lab Business
First, a high-quality microscope is essential because it forms the cornerstone of pathological examinations. In addition, reliable centrifugation is required to separate blood components, followed by an automated tissue processor for histopathology studies. Sophisticated analyzers such as hematology analyzers, biochemistry analyzers, and immunology analyzers are essential for comprehensive blood and biochemical testing. An autoclave for sterilizing laboratory equipment and a high-capacity refrigerator for storing sensitive reagents and samples are critical. Also, a cryostat for frozen section procedures and an embedding station for tissue processing are essential for anatomic pathology. Finally, a digital pathology system may be considered for efficient storage and analysis of digital slides.
Start your Medical Lab Business
Once the infrastructure and equipment are in place, hiring skilled and qualified staff is crucial. This includes pathologists, laboratory technicians, phlebotomists, administrative staff, and support personnel. Experienced pathologists are essential for accurate diagnosis and interpretation of test results. Additionally, trained technicians ensure proper handling of samples and use of equipment. And, establishing standard operating procedures (SOPs) is essential for maintaining consistency and accuracy in test results. Adhering to international quality standards ensures credibility and trust among patients and referring physicians. Also, a robust information management system is essential for recording and managing patient data, test results, and reports.
Marketing and Networking
Creating awareness about your pathology lab is essential for attracting patients and establishing credibility in the healthcare community. For this, you can get an advertisement for your pathology laboratory published in the most-read newspaper in your city. In addition to this, create a professional website, social media presence, and a marketing strategy that works with local healthcare providers. Apart from this, if you want, you can also get an advertisement for your pathology laboratory print small pamphlets, and distribute them at people’s homes. Providing exceptional service and accurate results will lead to positive word-of-mouth referrals.
Profit Margin in Laboratory Business
Generally, in this business, you can earn 2 to 5 thousand rupees per day, so, you can get a profit of at least 30 to 50 thousand rupees per month after all expenses. And if your business runs well then you can earn a profit of up to Rs 75 thousand or more. However, how much money you can earn from a pathology lab depends on how many customers come to your pathology lab. Also, your earnings also depend on the lab location, which reports you prepare, and how much amount you make on which test.