Bridging the Knowledge GapWed, 09/09/2015 - 15:15
In a generation witnessing a nationwide health crisis due to rising costs for the public health sector, education on healthcare is becoming increasingly vital in Mexico. As a result, Livemed, has stepped in to bridge the knowledge gap among the Mexican population. Providing real-time, reliable information about life sciences products through an interactive platform means that physicians are able to stay abreast of medical developments and streamline diagnostics.
Divided into three sectors of medical professionals, business and patients, Livemed’s main objective is the universal promotion of educational medical training. The company currently has 80,000 physicians enrolled in live and online courses designed to update medical knowledge. Livemed also offers an interactive online channel, MedChannel, where diverse educational resources are available to members across Latin America, providing information on a range of sectors from pharmaceuticals to medical devices.
The annual Expomed conference is organized and run by Livemed, a response to the gap in the market for a single conference designed to inform patients and doctors about available medical devices and technology. The company also organizes the National Medical Conference, a forum for information in regards to children’s health. After last year’s acquisition of its health and wellbeing division Livemed, set up a health fair, named Expo Salud y Bienestar, focused on helping people to prevent or diagnose many common diseases.
Ángel Vázquez Hernández, Livemed’s Director General, identifies the fragmentation of the country’s economic sectors in general, and the healthcare sector in particular, as the reason why the company has a strong market potential. In recent years, several organizations have been created to combine various segments of the healthcare industry, something which has proven difficult to coordinate between the public and private sectors. Expomed aims to bring together companies of all sizes within the pharmaceutical industry, inviting international companies to build awareness of the service and equipment available internationally at the local hospitals and clinics they visit. “We want this fair to become a hub in Latin America and attract international companies to conduct business in Mexico,” says Vázquez.
Having organized the conferences over seven years, Livemed has hosted visitors from 18 different countries, a significant feat given the sector’s high levels of fragmentation. Vázquez believes, however, that the problems witnessed by this issue are slowly being overcome, with Livemed’s influence expanding from initial collaboration with 4,000 companies to more than 25,000 across several industries. The Expomed conference were initiated 12 years ago but the previous five exhibitions faced losses, due in part, Vázquez believes, to a failure to specify goals and objectives for promotion materials. After Livemed assumed control of the event’s organization two years ago, Expomed grew in size by 30%, and 80% of available spaces were sold at the latest event. Moreover, Vázquez expects attendance to double in the next year.
This year, the slogan for the conference is “Ven y Checate” (Come and Check Yourself), which is part of a concerted focus to create awareness about several health problems and encourage people to visit health professionals for diagnosis. This event offers several physical activities, including karate and yoga, as well as education about nutrition and mental health care. Diagnostic services are provided, with GNP set to carry out tomographies and Devlin to perform eye exams at this year’s Expomed.
Additionally, there is the opportunity to become CPR certified, with 500 people taking advantage of the course last year. At this point, Livemed is focusing more on chronic diseases related to obesity, like diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and metabolic disease, the company seeks to provide an integral approach to health, including several basic services that are often overlooked, such as dental care through free dental examinations and education about essential dental care.
As well as the various conferences, Livemed also offers free webpages and online courses covering many health topics. Furthermore, each of the talks at the expos are recorded and published online for accessibility to the general public. Books and online courses are also provided for the 45,000 doctors preparing to take the National Exam of Medical Residencies to access a specialty each year, addressing the shortage of medical specialists in Mexico. This shortage is exacerbated by the fact that both public and private hospitals cannot afford to hire the necessary amount of specialists, and for that reason 85% of Livemed’s training programs are geared toward creating specialists.