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28 Mar 2017 9 Comments

The Concept of Sharing – Now for the First time in Healthcare

~ A global first initiative for healthcare protection of families ~

‘Sharing’ is the new buzz word today and it plays a very important role in meeting our regular needs. From car-pooling to an informal group that shares apartments, books and what not sharing is slowly becoming a part of our culture in the Indian context.Sharing is not new to us and probably started a couple of decades ago with ‘Timeshare Holidays’. Today sharing resources have become a service model of many companies. The old concept of informal sharing amongst a group of known people, is now formalised, thanks to the digital evolution, extending the offering to a much larger audience.

Sharing works on a few basic principles: a) Idle underutilised resources b) Demand for the product/service c) Convenience d) Cost benefit

In the recent years the concept of sharing is seen as a huge opportunity by many companies and they have developed models by creating more and more opportunities for people to engage and share resources, be it products/services. This has led to increasing trends of voluntary engagement by users to utilise these resources through platforms created by these companies for better experiences leading to convenience and cost benefit for the user. Some of the areas in which the concept of sharing has led to tremendous transformation of user engagement are Uber & Ola in city transport, Airbnb in stay, BlaBla for outstation travel etc. These concepts based on sharing have been developed understanding the needs of the customer mapping the supply and demand which benefits both.

Now you will be surprised to know that sharing has penetrated the healthcare services too. If you are wondering how, let us explain how the sharing concept is being adopted in healthcare.Umbilical cord stem cell banking has been an upcoming trend in the recent years with many parents deciding to preserve their baby’s stem cells at birth with a private stem cell bank at a cost. Stem cells are the master cells of our body holding the potential to repair or replace damaged cells/tissues in our body thereby restoring normalcy. Hence these stem cells have the potential to treat many medical conditions that may not be treatable with other conventional procedures such as surgery or medication.  

The baby’s umbilical cord is a rich source of these stem cells. By collecting and preserving these at birth the baby can access & utilise these stem cells when required for treatments of such conditions in the future. Hence parents preserve their baby’s stem cells in a private stem cell bank at a cost and the stem cells are preserved for exclusive usage for the baby. However, the important point to note is that, the baby’s own stem cells can be used only for 20% of the conditions treatable by stem cells and in more than 80% of these conditions stem cells would be required from another person i.e. a donor.  Thus, there is a demand that exists.  

The challenge here is the rarity in finding a matching stem cell of Indian ethnicity from another person i.e. a donor who is willing to donate his stem cells or in finding a matching stem cell from a public stem cell bank which preserves umbilical cord stem cells from donor babies. Adding to this complexity is the fact that stem cells from a public stem cell bank could cost as high as Rs.15 to 20 Lakhs.Hence if you have preserved your baby’s stem cells, it can help treat 20% of the conditions and yet you would require matching donor stem cells of Indian origin to treat the rest 80% of the conditions. Thus there exists a gap between actual need and current availability.

BabyCord Share – Community stem cell banking from LifeCell bridges this gap through the concept of sharing.

Once you preserve your baby’s stem cells you become a member of a community of parents who have also preserved their baby’s stem cells. The stem cells of all the babies within this community form a collective pool and these cells are shared by all the members.Hence at any given time you can access a matching stem cells from this collective pool for treatments. Every baby in the community will have access to the common collective pool of stem cells making the chances of finding a matching stem cell of Indian ethnicity more probable. The highlight of community stem cell banking is that, not only the baby but the siblings and parents can also source matching stem cells from the shared pool of stem cells providing a comprehensive protection for the family.

Moreover, when you consider the aspect of cost, you do not have to pay any additional amount for accessing these stem cells from the shared pool.  You can also utilise stem cells from this pool as many times as you may need for your family. All that it would cost you is the initial cost of preserving your baby’s stem cells which is much lower than sourcing stem cells from a public cord blood bank. Compared to preserving stem cells in a private bank which does not work on the sharing concept, and can be used only for 20% of the conditions, Community stem cell banking extends a larger benefit of covering wider spectrum of conditions and extends the sharing benefit to the families too. This sharing concept is sure to enhance the scope of stem cell transplants in the future by sharing your baby’s unutilised preserved stem cells with someone who requires a matching stem cell and the reverse also holds good.

Truly said, sharing cells is saving more lives.

For more information you could connect with LifeCell at 1800 419 5555 or visit www.lifecell.in

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