The Missing Ingredient for Mexican Healthtech StartupsBy Bruno Valera | Wed, 05/25/2022 - 09:00
All over the world, health tech startups are gaining more and more traction toward solving some of the main issues for patient experiences. However, last year, a handful of Mexican startups disappeared from the ecosystem in a matter of weeks. What could explain this disappearance, considering that the market is growing more than ever and more companies are willing to invest in new health solutions for their businesses?
What are Mexican companies doing differently than their counterparts in Latin America or Europe?
Truth be told, after working side by side with startups from different countries, I can ensure that there is no significant difference in the way they work; they all have a sense of purpose, great leadership and, in most cases, the right technology to support their business models for the private health market.
According to a survey conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2022, the ideal minimal patient journey for a digital health solution to provide is “consultation to pharmacy.” The patient will consider any other experience that is less than that as insufficient, with a significant risk of failure.
However, Mexico is a country with over 130 million people spread over close to 2 million square kilometers. In the last official census, INEGI reported over 12 million private health entities, including hospitals, pharmacies, laboratories and all other main health services. With such a wide variety of services, it is virtually impossible for a single company to fulfill all their patients' needs.
Is there a solution in sight? Interoperability through health ecosystems. "Ecosystems create powerful forces that can reshape and disrupt industries,” according to McKinsey. In healthcare, ecosystems have a great potential to deliver a personalized and integrated experience to patients, enhance provider productivity, engage formal and informal caregivers, and improve outcomes and affordability.
These ecosystems combine the power of different startups and companies via a shared platform that integrates multiple services into seamless patient journeys. Such journeys include solutions for symptom checking, appointment booking, online consultation, e-prescription management, and service delivery.
The lack of government policies and a strategy for health information interoperability has opened the door for many companies to create joint efforts on massive health projects across the country using digital health ecosystems. The most recent example is Oxxo, with the ambitious goal to provide a private health service to its employees in more than 20,000 stores.
In May 2022, Medikit reported over 60 companies on its health ecosystem that served eight countries in Latin America, including Mexico. The idea is to help shape the coming trends and solve the populations' necessities in terms of access to health services. If we make projections and carefully plan our work in the present, we will likely be addressing current issues while preventing future ones.