- In the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mapmygenome broadened its gene panel tests to check for coronavirus-related immunity markers among Indians
- Despite the potential of gene tech in the Indian healthcare ecosystem, inequality in genomic data for Indians makes operations challenging for genetic tech startups
- Mapmygenome has managed to automate critical workflows such as collecting test samples and RNA extraction to offset increased costs and demand related to Covid-19 testing
First Step: Going Back To The ‘Core Theory’
When the pandemic hit, the problem was not only with the data gaps in tackling the novel coronavirus but also to bring in the required capabilities, set up the infrastructure, assess the cost components and change the daily processes that too amid lockdown. Like most other companies, Mapmygenome also went back to the basics and reassessed its core proposition in search of new innovations for the world in crisis.
Before Mapmygenome, Acharya had run the global genomics company Ocimum Biosolutions for 13 years. However, she realised that there was inequality in the genetic and genomic data points, as globally the Indian gene data represented less than 2% of the available data and only effective for 20% of the population. Now, in a country like India, where government spending on healthcare is less than 2%, it is important to focus on prevention to reduce overall costs. This is something that other gene-centric healthtech startups have also pointed out.