SQLAB, new modern clinic with innovative approach to health located at Podil area in Kyiv, can impress even a very skeptical person. It has proven already its viability becoming profitable in a very short time. Our editor has met with the founder of SQLAB Sviatoslav Khanenko and its personnel for a conversation and a test-drive of some medical checkups.
Sviatoslav, how did you come up with the idea to open such a medical institution and what are the prospects for such an approach in Ukraine?
In general, it all has begun when I was a child and the roots go to my family, in which there are several generations of doctors. In the earliest childhood I was inspired by Gennady Opanasenko, the author of health quantitative measurement technique. At the age of 16, I knew for sure that I would be a doctor. Being a small boy I wanted to be a plastic surgeon and now I understand why. Even then, I did not want to work with illness and suffering, but with the quality of life and the ways to improve it. In 1998 my father attempted to introduce “family medicine” in our country. At the end of the 20th century, the negative trend of extinction of the Ukrainian population was observed. For me, this has become a topic for reflection on how to deal with this. And then in my head such a heroic mission was formed – to do my best to overcome the demographic crisis in Ukraine. Family medicine could be a solution. Since then, this mission leads me through life.
I graduated from the Medical Lyceum, entered the Medical University. When graduating from it I could choose any specialization, and I chose family medicine deliberately. I passed internship on an individual program in different departments, sharpening my skills. Then I got to a private clinic, which my father founded. It specialized in mandatory prevention. There I conducted 100 prof. inspections per day in different specialties. It helped me very quickly to be experienced. In 2007, the last year of my internship I have filed an application to the Open Medical Institute for the Seminar course in different specialties. In 2011 I studied this program in Austria. From 2007 to 2011 I worked as a family doctor and in parallel we started a pilot project to provide personal wellness programs. There were a lot of difficulties then. And I realized that I needed to get a Western business education in order to run a company.
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I applied to Barcelona Business School, they gave me a scholarship. And I left Ukraine for a year. My graduation work was dedicated to the development of a business plan for such a medical institution. When I came back home, I got into the anti-aging pharmaceutical industry, within some time I became the Global Marketing Director. While working in skin care field at some point I’ve realized that the quality of the skin is an objectively measured boundary between health and beauty, between health and quality of life. People are ready to invest in this. I decided to start my own business. With a partner we have registered the company in October 2016, and in February was a test run of the clinic, and in June it has become profitable. Later in September 2017 we opened a second clinic in Kyiv at Luteranskaya street. Our goal is to open a network of 30 clinics in the big cities all over Ukraine till 2020.
What is the philosophy of the clinic?
SQLAB is a clinic for healthy people, which deals with the measurement of health and its management.
To identify whether the person is sick or healthy is the main problem and it is a managerial issue. If you focus on the disease, the results can only be achieved at the level of symptoms, this is a one-gate game. But if you control the whole body and health, and try to have a complex approach, then you can be effective. This means 100% assistance. In our clinic we are responsible for controlling all the issues of human health management.
But let's be honest, this kind of comprehensive examination is very expensive and not for everyone.
Yes, but there is an explanation for this. These innovations must pass the natural way of development, first they pass through the premium segment to reduce very high initial costs. We are going to make it affordable in 2020 for the middle segment. But for now the level of service that we want to provide is very high-cost still.
But I have to say that our clients are people who understand the value of their health and make long-term plans. Health is their primary resource. And they understand that even now if they have zero accounts, tomorrow they will earn millions if they have such an important resource as health.
We talked also with doctor Katerina Gladchenko and made some tests.
Katerina, tell me, please, is it not scary for a client to get his health estimation in numbers?
No, it's not scary. We measure everything in points, 0 points is the norm, and for every deviation from the norm we put a minus score for all parameters.
What does diagnostics consist of?
The first part is genetic analysis. To do this, we take the epidermis from the cheek surface and determine the biological age. We work only with evidentiary methods.
The second part is about the way of life of a person and his/her environment. We examine in details where the person was born and have been living, how he/she eats, what his/her physical activity is as well as his/her rest, we examine his/her psycho-emotional balance according to the questionnaires.
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The third part is about the energy potential. For this we use the FIT3D medical apparatus. It scans the body and creates a 3D avatar of a person, this is the only one device we have in Ukraine and in Eastern Europe. It makes measurements on 12 circles of the human body, plus it calculates indices, which can indirectly indicate a person's predisposition to metabolic syndrome (atherosclerosis, diabetes, mellitus). And it is very important that this FIT3D machine allows us to see the dynamics and compare the state of a person in different periods of life. We also use biomedical scales that determine body structure, body mass index, fat and muscle tissue percentage, metabolic age and body fluid percentage. These parameters are compared with the norm. In addition, we determine the endurance of the person, the strength of the hands (this indicator indicates the real energy potential of a person) and the volume of the lungs.
The next stage is about the state of the body systems. From head to toe our family doctor examines the client. At the same time, all these data are photographed and saved. This allows us to observe the state of a person in dynamics while the check-ups. In this case the doctor very thoroughly questions the patient about his health. If a person has a sore throat, we will conduct a comprehensive examination of all body systems, because this pain can be directly related to the state of the digestive system, for example.
The next stage is the creation of the skin passport. We examine the skin and give the recommendations. This is a visual inspection, and the examination with the use of a dermatoscope and detailed documentation of all data (photographing as well). And also we use other hardware techniques that define structural (pores, wrinkles, spots, hidden pigmentation) and functional (moisture, elasticity, temperature) skin parameters.
All tests take 4 hours and another 4 hours we group this data and 10 more days we process it. As a result, we give the client 160 pages about his state of health and conduct a video presentation, which is attended by all the doctors and the client himself. There is a direct discussion of this presentation. Plus we offer a medical assistance. It can be purchased separately or as a part of a package of services. This is a personal doctor the client can contact during 3-month or up to 1-year period. Personal doctor will accompany the client being always in contact with him/her and giving advice whenever necessary.
Prices are high in comparison with other clinics, but this is a premium class service. For foreign customers here in Ukraine these prices are more affordable than abroad.
You say that all people are healthy. If a person with oncology diagnosis comes to you, will you be able to help him/her?
It depends on the diagnosis – there different situations.
Do you have such patients?
With oncological pathology no, but there are some of pre-oncologic status.
And is there any positive dynamics?
Yes, of course, our recommendations can help to prevent the oncological disease.
Would you recommend those who are already in a state of remission to visit SQLAB clinic for tests and recommendations?
Oh sure. After all, there are relapses. And here it is necessary to understand very thoroughly how to keep positive effect. Among our clients there are those who have already visited ordinary doctors, and come to us with a lot of papers with the diagnoses. Again, the problem is that often a non-integrated approach is used, and one treatment could harm other parameters of human health.
Can you please tell us about your new clinic on Luteranska street in Kyiv?
In our first clinic here on Kozhumyatska street at Podil we have the main base for diagnosis. And in that clinic on Luteranska street our clients can go through all the medical treatments. We develop biological medicine, acupuncture, biopuncture, ozone therapy. These are "natural treatments". We do not deny traditional medicine, but we recommend additionally this kind of treatment and spa treatments, plus massages.
Are there any children among your clients?
At the moment, no, but we are ready to provide medical services to children starting from the age of 12.
In SQLAB clinic we have a lot of women among our clients. They are more responsible for diagnosing health, but men are more flexible in following the instructions of doctors. We are open for any client and are ready to provide a high-end medical service to improve health.
Editor's letter: It is inspiring to know that in Ukraine new approaches in medicine can have a chance for implementation and development.
Interviewed by Anna Vishtak
Photos by Yuriy Zaluzhniy