Comprehensive Care Beyond Clinical and Medicinal TreatmentsBy Miriam Bello | Fri, 07/24/2020 - 12:30
Q: How has Grupo SOHIN helped patients and the health industry?
A: Grupo SOHIN was a pioneer in genomic diagnosis for cancer patients. Eleven years ago, when the technology was just starting, we brought MammaPrint to the country, which is a genetic test for breast cancer that identifies patients who would benefit from chemotherapy and those who would not. We have the largest number of breast cancer patients diagnosed through genomic tests. We have also pioneered in presenting these diagnostic tools to the insurance sector.
Putting the patient at the center of healthcare services and providing comprehensive care have become priorities for the industry and I think we have been a very positive influence for all players to consider the social aspect of their activities.
Q: Which of Grupo SOHIN’s three divisions is the strongest and why?
A: Our three divisions – Concierge, Genetic and Cuidarte – are vital and work according to an integrated model. Concierge is a model that revolutionized the understanding of patients and their families. Today, it is almost impossible to think of an institution that treats cancer patients without addressing psychological and nutritional issues; we were pioneers in building this holistic strategy. We consider this division the heart of Grupo SOHIN and we see it as more than a unit, it is the philosophy of the organization.
Genetic focuses on conveying to the health sector that medical advances have to be accompanied by technology and innovation. Cuidarte is a comprehensive care clinic and infusion center for patients with autoimmune and hematological diseases that offers everything the patient might need. We currently have one of what we hope will be many clinics across the country.
Q: What areas of opportunity have you identified regarding openness to technology?
A: The health sector is very resistant to technology and entry barriers for innovation are high, much more in the public sector due to budgetary issues. Moreover, the industry lacks the humility to accept how technological tools can facilitate the lives of people and the work of professionals. There is a lot of resistance to leave the comfort zone but technology is here to stay; moving forward without technological tools is impossible.
Q: How can you increase connectivity and functionality in a hospital to achieve interoperability?
A: Beyond digitalization, what will really revolutionize the health sector are technologies that are interoperable and also universal. When talking about interoperability, we mean how the entire health sector communicates regardless of whether players are in the public or private sector; they should all be linked through a system that shares Mexicans’ information in real time and with high security.
Currently, we are making an effort to deploy a national registry of cancer and rare diseases. However, it is a titanic endeavor because every institution that treats patients in this country should have a way to report their patients’ information automatically, while the Ministry of Health should have a way to centralize this information. Today, there are public hospitals with no computers, digital prescriptions do not exist and there are personnel who still use typewriters. True change demands political will in addition to resources.
Q: How can Mexico’s healthcare sector increase technology penetration?
A: The authorities are still trying to figure out how to provide equal health services to all Mexicans. Although there are many needs in the health sector, I do not think they are all a priority. We need order, regulations and rules to then establish proper care mechanisms and this can only come from the government.
A big problem in the public sector is tax collection because that is the available budget the government assigns to health services. Companies have become professionals in not contributing the corresponding employer's tax through outsourcing but they are also the first to criticize the operational capacity of institutions like IMSS.
Recently, Minister of Health Jorge Alcocer Varela said that to have a Nordic-like health system, we would have to have a Nordic-like tax collection scheme; nothing can be done without resources. We have to keep pushing for greater investment in health but we also have to be responsible for the proper administration of those resources. The Health Reform remained on standby in the governments of Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto because it is very complicated and has many more variables and complexities than any other reform. In my opinion, the health and education sectors should be priorities of any government.
Grupo Sohin is a Mexican company that works to transform the care model of patients with chronic degenerative diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and chronic renal failure