As Santiago’s entrepreneurial hub continues to grow, thanks in large part to the efforts of Start-up Chile, more and more young companies in Latin America are revolutionizing one of society’s most import needs — healthcare.
Health 2.0 is about the relationship between new technologies and how they can alter the future of our healthcare. “Healthcare” is comprised of many different parts such as: accessibility, insurances/payment methods, consultations, treatment and procedures, medical devices, medical records/data storage, and doctor-to-patient follow up communication. Each one of these areas is dependent on a variety of incumbent technologies, waiting to be disrupted. And because this is the most rapidly evolving period of tech innovation ever, these older technologies are undergoing swift and exhilarating changes.
Some of the Chilean startups working to improve a part of the healthcare system include:
Medko helps patients find quality doctors, healthcare professionals, and medical clinics across Latin America. Our team is focused on improving accessibility for both Latin American patients and medical tourists from around the world. In the near future, we’d like to improve the way doctors and patients communicate across borders via teleconsultations. Imagine talking with a surgeon “face-to-face” from the comfort of your home, receiving answers to your questions and more peace of mind.
Epicrisis is one of the first companies in Latin America offering a web based and mobile supported Electronic Health Record (EMR) integrated with a scheduling service for healthcare professionals in the ambulatory settings. Their team includes two doctors specialized in Medical Informatics which has helped them develop Epicrisis with the knowledge and understanding of what doctors need while taking care of the best practices to create an accessible and standards compliant product.
Prenovate, one of the newest companies to arrive to Santiago, is developing a healthy eating assistant for mobile phones, “In our first product, we’ve combined evidence-based nutritional recommendations, data analytics and behavioral science to create a dietary recommendation tool for chronic disease management.” This means helping people make healthier decisions with the technology they always have in their hand.
These are a few of the many healthcare companies currently working in Latin America, but the startups themselves only comprise part of the conversation. One of the biggest reasons Health 2.0 is becoming so important for innovation is because it brings together the entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, and investors who build these companies with the doctors, healthcare professionals, and clinic managers who understand and operate the healthcare system.
Without collaboration between these two equally important groups – innovators and caregivers, health innovation would decelerate significantly. As much as we entrepreneurs want to move fast and “revolutionize” healthcare, we also need to make sure we fully understand how the system works, and where the inefficiencies are. No one can truly pinpoint the problems and provide as much insight into potential opportunities as the doctors who will be using our technologies of tomorrow. Health 2.0 is collaboration in action.
“Increasing technology and the Health 2.0 movement allows startups like Medko to further increase accessibility between doctors and patients. For example, a Chilean tourist in Brazil can quickly connect with an available and trustworthy doctor who speaks Spanish” indicates Nick Kwan, Co-founder of Medko.