Best Managed Companies | Biron, beyond the top gun

Since the appointment of Geneviève Biron as President and CEO of Santé Québec, the name Biron Groupe Santé has been everywhere. For good reason, she was president and CEO from 2014 to 2021, but the new top gun of health no longer has any interest in the family business, which continues on its path.


Published at 12:58 a.m.

Updated at 12:00 p.m.

Julie Roy

Special collaboration

“We are very proud, we are delighted with his appointment. She has solid experience and is a valuable asset for Santé Québec. She is a committed, serious, dedicated person, with strong leadership and she knows how to surround herself,” says Caroline Biron, president and sole shareholder of the company for three years, bluntly.

Artificial intelligence

The current president was able to take over the reins from her sister with panache. Among the Brossard-based company’s latest innovations is the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) for sleep study analyses. “In the context of the shortage of specialized labor, we have integrated the use of AI in this business sector in order to gain efficiency. This allowed us to maintain our short lead times in delivering test results to patients and referring doctors,” explains Caroline Biron.

AI adds to the digital journey that Biron put in place a year and a half ago for its sleep care. A formula that allows patients to stay in the comfort of their home to begin their journey towards better sleep and which will allow them to access care services. “We start with an online screening test. Depending on the results, if there is to be a diagnostic test, it could be carried out at home, because we want to have access to the patient’s real sleep at home. We even have a teleconsultation platform with our respiratory therapists to answer questions,” explains the president of Biron.

In the coming years, Biron wants to further its use of AI in order to improve its screening algorithms and its recommendation tools for patients.

More precise medicine

Another innovative service is pharmacogenomic testing (PGx). In this case, Biron uses DNA tests carried out from a saliva sample. The objective? Helping patients find the right medication, anticipating side effects, establishing the right dosage, and doing so more quickly thanks to their genetics. The findings focus on medications for pain, mental health and ADHD. Over the past year, Biron deployed a new test, PGX2, which expands the number of genetic variants tested from 63 to 110. “In 2023, we completed our first research and development project in this direction. This addition allows us to cover more medications. Among other things, all medications used for mental health problems are covered by our test,” explains Caroline Biron.

Prevention mission

Facilitating access to prevention services without medical notice is another possibility offered at Biron. After offering tests for sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections and HPV, Biron now offers a colon cancer screening kit. “It’s an alternative for people who live in remote areas or who have difficulty getting around. For us, it’s a way to encourage awareness and help people in their medical journey,” she maintains.

Biosecurity

Barely a year ago, Biron, in collaboration with the Canadian government and Aéroports de Montréal, opened a laboratory at the Montréal-Trudeau airport. Thanks to this tripartite collaboration, a complete biovigilance laboratory is now available. In the event of the appearance of a new pathogen with a high risk of contagion, Canadian Public Health could ask Biron to activate this laboratory in this strategic entry point.

The key to success

Biron Groupe Santé has reached the platinum club of Best Managed Companies. According to Caroline Biron, president, the key to this success lies in putting people at the heart of actions, being on the ground and listening. Added to this is a creative organizational culture open to new avenues in order to remain relevant.

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