Connected Health Ecosystem A Lesson and A Challenge From COVID-19By Miriam Bello | Wed, 01/20/2021 - 17:25
Q: How effective have personalized healthcare services been, beyond personalized medicine?
A: For more than 11 years, Grupo SOHIN has dedicated its different service areas to patients living with a chronic or degenerative noncommunicable disease or highly complex infectious disease. We are talking about 1 percent of all the patients with a public or private insurer. We are also talking about those who represent more than 60 percent of healthcare spending. In this sense, what we have shown throughout this time is that a patient who is correctly cared for and assisted is a patient who has better therapeutic response to treatment. They are patients who obtain better results and who benefit the health system financially.
We stress the need to treat the patient as a person, as a social being, rather than just a page number with a diagnosis. Thus, we emphasize the importance of addressing the impact of a disease of this type on the life of the patient and their family. We not only provide a concierge but also psychologists and nutritionists who help to create a vital harmony for the patients and everyone around them. This initiative is supported by a solid technological platform, with a series of additional tools that we have included to be able to reach many more people.
Q: How has Grupo SOHIN’s integration of technology and innovation improved your health treatments?
A: For 12 years, we have gone through a clear process of transformation. Our interest as an organization has been to change the traditional healthcare paradigm by developing a predictive and inclusive holistic ecosystem. We are always guided by the universal human right to access healthcare, respecting the dignity of patients and understanding that we need to work as a team to address these needs. No institution or company can solve a patient's needs alone. Interaction and teamwork with the entire industry ecosystem is necessary.
Creating a platform to coordinate the interaction between the health ecosystem would be impossible without the use of technology. Grupo SOHIN has been working on telemedicine for 10 years. Long before the start of the pandemic, we were already advocating for this model. For a long time, we have stated firmly that patients with immune deficiencies should only go to hospitals when necessary.
It is also important to mention that no technological tool, as powerful as it may be, is sufficient to achieve a comprehensive treatment. What we have done is become an early adopter of technology that integrates different tools according to the needs of each patient. For instance, we have seven telemedicine platforms. In addition, we have a system that guarantees the confidentiality of information, managing and archiving all interactions with patients.
Q: During the COVID-19 pandemic, how has Grupo SOHIN ensured continuous care provision?
A: We were able to adapt very quickly to the changes resulting from the pandemic. Within our DNA were already the capabilities of resilience. Unlike huge companies with tough and inflexible processes, new companies like Grupo SOHIN have the ability to adapt and change at their core. Once the company was able to move beyond the entrepreneurial stage, it was much easier for us to adapt to this situation.
At Grupo SOHIN, we have a team of 150 people working full time and 400 professionals who we hire on demand. This allowed us to be very flexible toward the needs of our patients in 25 cities in Mexico. Likewise, the alliances that we have generated during all these years allow us to coordinate medical care in different hospitals very quickly. We know the processes of each one of them in depth and we can support our patient in every part of the process.
A couple of weeks before the pandemic hit, we launched the Cuidarte clinics. This is an integrated outpatient care model focused on complex autoimmune and onco-hematological diseases. The first Cuidarte clinic was opened in Mexico City but we have opened mobile units in Guadalajara, Veracruz and Queretaro. What we seek with this model is to bring medical services closer to patients and to optimize the costs associated with these diseases.
Q: Grupo SOHIN is a pioneer in genomic diagnostics for cancer patients, especially for breast cancer patients. How can this become available to more people?
A: Unfortunately, this tool is not yet well-adopted in Mexico. However, we are working on promoting genetic and genomic diagnostics for cancer. Today, we continue to urge public institutions to provide patients with molecular diagnostic tools that optimize resources and improve the response to treatment. We have also made progress in implementing genetic prevention tests. Two years ago, our focus was exclusively on genomic diagnostics for oncology. Today, we not only work in that area but also genetic diagnostic tools for cardiometabolic diseases and rare diseases. We do this with partners around the world, such as major diagnostic laboratories.
We have also successfully included genetic prevention testing. This means understanding the potential for cancer, heart attack or metabolic diseases from genetic information. Having this information allows people to develop personalized care and prevention plans.
Q: What are the right strategies to follow to generate a preventive healthcare culture and make this a priority among Mexicans?
A: If we look back at the past 50 years, it is clear that there has been great progress in the health system. However, it is also undeniable our health system is in crisis. The pandemic demonstrated the fragility of the system, with inadequate working conditions for doctors and all health professionals. I believe that we have to move toward a health sector that works based on public-private coordination and that takes advantage of all the tools that we have available. Today, more than ever, the priority must be to democratize health services, making them available to all Mexicans regardless of their socioeconomic level.
Grupo SOHIN is a Mexican company that works to transform the care model of patients with chronic degenerative diseases like cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and chronic renal failure.