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Over the past several years, we have witnessed a paradigm shift in the way pharmacies and laboratories operate in order to cater to the changing dynamic needs of the healthcare space. This shift has resulted in the re-evaluation of the traditional channel or multichannel model and upgrading it to a clinical omnichannel approach that will seamlessly integrate various distribution mediums.

And that’s exactly where the clinical market disruptor, London Medical Laboratory, enters to combat the healthcare industry through its technologically advanced blood testing approach. The organization has introduced the omnichannel approach to blood testing, which is rudimental in the UK’s clinical history. Through its wide range of life-saving finger-prick blood testing kits, the organization guarantees reliability and excellence to its customers.

Spearheading this innovation is LML’s Co-founder and Joint CEO, Flavia Araujo-Rankin. She believes access to blood tests can save many lives. Hence, Flavia is working towards the mission of making blood testing easily accessible in order to improve the UK’s health statistics.

We at Insights Care got an opportunity to interview Flavia. She orates about LML and how its omnichannel approach provides a fast and easy way for people to start taking charge of their health.

Below are the interview highlights:

Please brief our audience about London Medical Laboratory. Kindly tell us the source of inspiration for starting a medical and clinical laboratory.

London Medical Laboratory (LML) is a market disruptor, building on the benefits of new direct-to-consumer (D2C) opportunities. In 2016 I founded LML, together with my husband, with the intention of it becoming the UK’s first laboratory to take a truly omnichannel approach to provide testing services directly to the patients.

We work with a nationwide network of pharmacies and clinics offering every method there is to get blood tests done. We provide phlebotomy training to all our sites so that anyone can have their blood taken and couriered back to our laboratory and processed overnight. This means that anyone anywhere in the UK can have their results sent back to them the next day with a doctor’s commentary attached!

We also provide a wide range of life-saving finger-prick blood testing kits, which can be purchased online, or off the shelf with results similarly returned the day of arrival in our laboratory. Because we are vertically integrated and own the entire pathway, we are able to guarantee reliability and excellent customer service. LML’s mission is to make blood testing easily accessible and improve our country’s health statistics. Access to blood tests can save lives.

NHS waiting times for blood tests are continually increasing. There’s currently an 18+ weeks wait for non-urgent cases, and that rises to 21 weeks in London. LML can reduce the workload on GPs by both undertaking traditional blood tests ordered by surgeries and by providing tests to customers directly. This feeds into the growing trend for individuals to take greater responsibility for their own well-being and healthcare.

The key to LML’s long-term growth strategy is the continuous development of the D2C opportunity for both blood tests and infectious diseases. Our clinical testing service provides clients and customers with a one-stop solution to improve their people’s wellness.

Whether people are concerned about their health, simply curious, or perhaps are managing an existing condition, blood tests provide a fast and easy way for them to start taking charge of their health.

Flavia, kindly brief us about yourself and shed some light on your journey in the medical product and development niche.

Previously I created and managed a range of successful businesses in the United Kingdom, Brazil, and Australia, in retail, import/export, and education. When one of my children developed diabetes, I realized there was a notable lack of access to rapid, continual blood testing to keep families fully informed.

Out of necessity came invention. My husband, Dr Seth Rankin, had extensive experience in both the NHS and private healthcare. He spent many years working in international medical assistance, then as the managing partner of a large NHS general practice. When we realized the huge need for direct-to-consumer blood tests, I saw how Seth’s medical expertise and my business experience could revolutionize the health care market.

My family’s experience also shaped LML’s core value, that every test is a person. Behind every medical test is a fellow human who deserves our very best. Their lives may depend on it. This is the core of what LML believes in.

Tell us more about the services that make London Medical Laboratory stand out from the competition.

LML is the first omnichannel blood testing, diagnostic and health check business in the UK. We offer phlebotomy services in franchised High Street health check shops, licensed pharmacies, and finger-prick blood tests direct to customers ordered online and sent through the mail.

Our convenient direct-to-customer finger-prick self-testing kits give people easy access to blood tests that people can do in the comfort of their homes and post the samples back to us. Our tests cover a wide range of conditions, from cholesterol and thyroid profiles though to fertility and heart health.

Our High Street services are also growing rapidly. We now offer blood tests in many pharmacies and health stores across the UK, including a partnership with Holland & Barrett. Blood samples usually take no more than ten minutes, and patients usually receive their results the next working day.

What is the current scenario of the medical product development and testing industry?

In terms of blood testing, these are exciting times, bringing tests directly to patients and developing tests for an ever-wider range of conditions, from diabetes to heart disease or erectile dysfunction, using the latest advances.

What is your opinion on healthcare providers’ aligning their offerings with newer technological developments, especially when it comes to catering to the dynamic needs of the healthcare sector?

LML was founded on the belief that the latest technological developments in blood testing are a key part of the evolving healthcare space. It’s only through the growth in online technology that LML’s revolutionary omnichannel blood test services could exist.

In many countries, private routine health checks and blood tests are regularly conducted, but this is less common in the UK. For example, there are as many as one million people in our country with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. A simple blood test can categorically let them know whether they have it or not. Knowing will add years to their lives!

What advice would you like to give to the budding entrepreneurs and enthusiasts aspiring to venture into the medical product and development niche?

Come and work for LML! As we expand into new areas, in terms of both healthcare and locations, we are always looking to develop new talent.

Creating LML was a lot of hard but rewarding work. It was difficult at the beginning and took a lot of time and investment. In the past three years, we have grown tremendously from only eight people to over 150 staff with six LML branches–and more are on the way!

With so many advances in technology, working in healthcare is very exciting and fulfilling. Work hard, find good people and ensure you focus on developing products customers will buy. Focus on the common goal–to improve people’s health and have fun doing it.

How do you envision scaling London Medical Laboratory’s services and operations in 2022 and beyond?

There has been a significant rise in patient awareness regarding self-testing. Millennials have become the “wellness generation,” and the increasing elderly population needs better access to testing.

Just as consumers abandoned the High Street for online stores during the pandemic, so many looked for effective alternatives, such as regular blood testing, to avoid GP surgeries during the height of lockdowns. People realize how effective and reassuring regular blood tests can be, and we are constantly introducing new tests to give people a comprehensive picture of their current health.

We are currently expanding rapidly and have plenty of ideas for the future. We are scaling up our range of tests rapidly, from new comprehensive allergy tests to a wider range of hormone tests to be easily available in high street shops so that everyone has quick and easy access to blood tests and general health checks.

We are involved with many organizations’ staff healthcare programs, and we’re making our tests available in an ever-increasing range of pharmacies, health food stores, etc. LML is actively looking for new pharmacy partners across the UK who want to access these new services. My ultimate vision is for blood testing to be available in every pharmacy and healthcare shop throughout the country, enabling people to take charge of their health.