Ricardo Moguel
Founder and CEO
Clivi
/
View from the Top

Digitalization Creates Accessible Chronic Disease Management

By Miriam Bello | Wed, 03/16/2022 - 12:21

Q: What is Clivi’s role in the health system and how is its business model innovative and disruptive?

A: Diabetes is the second-leading cause of death in Mexico and the main root of those deaths is that many patients do not manage the disease properly, leading to serious complications that affect their quality of life and put their lives at risk. Diabetes also impacts the lives of the patients’ families. As 12.8 million Mexicans have diabetes, a large percentage of the population sees their life affected by the disease. Studies also estimate that there are 12 million diabetics who have not been diagnosed. Together, both groups represent almost 20 percent of the Mexican population. This can help explain the impact of COVID-19 in the country because four of every 10 people who died due to COVID-19 had diabetes and five out of 10 had hypertension.

Chronic disease management involves a traditional program offered in an in-person specialized clinic. This has some issues. First, it is a private service that not everyone can afford and these clinics are usually found only in cities. Second, there are only 1,400 endocrinologists in Mexico, so even if they were distributed throughout the country and patients had the resources to pay for their services, there would not be enough professionals to meet demand. Tech offers a solution for this problem.

We wanted Clivi to be an alternative to Mexico’s national health strategy to manage chronic diseases. Clivi is a low-cost alternative to treat and manage chronic diseases through a multidisciplinary team that follows international standards. Our role in Mexico is of a tech-based, tertiary care supplier providing an integral approach to disease management. We are a fully digital service and are able to reach every person who uses the internet and suffers from a chronic disease. In the near future, we will look into establishing a hybrid service, in which patients have first contact at clinics.

Q: How do you ensure professionalism while using regular communications services like WhatsApp?

A: Tech is not a trend in healthcare; it is a solution that helps providers reach more people. Telehealth has democratized health access in areas where there is not a single endocrinologist. Just in 2021, multinational health companies invested US$44 billion in tech. Governments, such as those in Colombia and Brazil, officially recognized tech as an important tool for healthcare.

We decided to use WhatsApp because it has a high number of users in Mexico and became the most used channel to stay in contact with others during the pandemic. Had we developed a new service, we would have had more barriers to use and engagement that would have made it harder for people with chronic diseases. To have a faster impact, we chose to use Mexico’s most common communication channel.  

Q: How are you promoting Clivi among users to become a global leader in comprehensive virtual care?

A: Clivi aims to become a global leader in comprehensive virtual care within its first two years and a unicorn that operates in different Latin American regions in the next five years. To achieve these goals, Clivi prioritizes accessibility in terms of tech and price. We are working intensely to lower costs for the patient and we even developed a free-of-charge service for people with diabetes, which grants them access to an endocrinologist, nutritionist, psychologist and specialists. Using this service, diabetics can register their glucose levels, compare them to the average and share the results with their doctors.

We introduce the product through this free service. Once users grasp the benefits of Clivi, they are willing to pay for the complete service. Within the first five months, we have reached over 23,000 users.

Q: What are the differences between Clivi for companies and Clivi for patients?

A: The service addresses companies’ need to meet the medical necessities of their employees. Workers face several barriers when trying to access health services as a single doctor’s appointment can take up half of their productive day. Now, patients face a further risk in contracting COVID-19 in doctors’ offices. Additionally, if the worker uses a public health service, they will face limited opportunities to receive care and if they choose a private service, they will pay out-of-pocket. These circumstances discourage many employees from using health services, so their health problems worsen and become more expensive for employees and companies. For that reason, we have developed an immediate access tool that can be accessed as needed.

Q: How do you convince doctors to use Clivi?

A: At this stage, we are manually selecting every professional working for Clivi. To achieve our goal to become a leader in the remote management of chronic diseases, we want to first create a protocol with selected professionals that can be later replicated on a larger scale. 

The doctors working with us have excellent academic and professional credentials and are experts in their field.

Q: In terms of investment, how has the company funded its operations and what are its investment plans?

A: We initially used our own capital to fund Clivi but we had a first investment round from Silicon Valley. This seed investment will be used to quickly grow our operations. To continue growing, we will seek another investment round this year.

Q: What plans does the company have to include a service like Clivi in insurance policies?

A: To reverse the mortality rate of chronic diseases, we need more actors supporting the same goal. For that reason, we are considering partnering with insurance companies and creating a more complete solution that benefits both them and us.

 

Clivi is a health clinic focused on treating Type 2 diabetes. From the first consultation to the treatment of chronic and complex health problems, Clivi creates customized, data-driven experiences tailored to the needs of each patient.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst