Alejandro de la Parra
Director General
Astrum Salud
View from the Top

Modernizing Health Technology

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 16:37

Q: How is Astrum Salud positioned to take advantage of advancements in global connectivity?

A: We have formed solid commercial and academic alliances with various organizations across the globe to offer better solutions to our users in health, education and communication services. This has further improved our overall service quality by giving it a globally competitive edge. We have recently allied with CloudVisit, a prominent New York-based IT development company with vast telemedicine experience, to create a reliable and integrated videoconferencing CMS implementation, exponentially empowering our secure IT development with pristine tropicalized services at competitive prices.

Our alliance with the New York-based organization Life Extension Advocacy Foundation has developed new and better ways of providing educational and informative content in Spanish, closing the gap for Spanish-speaking communities and enabling them to learn, engage and support other prominent organizations in the life sciences industry. We emphasize that education is a prime concern in improving healthcare in the modern world and it must be addressed correspondingly to be offered in an accessible and effective manner. This is the reason we have focused on malleable digital implementations for education, allowing us to adjust accordingly to technological advances.

Q: What are the goals of your latest project Astrum Educación?

A: We have established a coalition with the World Academy of Medical Sciences, an inspiring institution based in the Netherlands, that allows us to provide online services in Spanish for continued medical education and to cooperate on congresses and seminars. We can also offer our videoconferencing platform to the academy’s medical members. This will extend access to novel treatments to Latin America, allowing the region to move forward in clinical science as e-learning consolidates and knowledge spreads. Astrum Salud has also formed relationships with cutting-edge biotechnology entities such as RegenerAge Clinic in Mexico City and Bioquar in Philadelphia. The goal is to expand the reach of revolutionary regenerative medicinal treatments in Mexico through the use of our telemedicine solutions.

Q: To what extent will the courses be adapted to other Latin American countries?

A: The courses themselves are to be presented in Spanish and include localized mentions of technologies used in the region for professional opportunities. As we connect education and labor, we trigger the pragmatic learning path and refocus on action. We combine our efforts with other institutional organizations and take several factors into consideration, including connectivity, local access to the technologies mentioned in each course and the rate at which these technologies are prospering locally to create an effective impact on local communities.

We firmly believe that to incite foreign investment in Latin America it is our responsibility to fully engage in the development and expansion of our own infrastructure, culture and society. We face a challenge to mitigate the current brain drain situation as well as the flight of capital and it is entirely in our hands to assemble a proper Latin American industry to advance. We are able to accomplish this as the local education level rises with a globalized vision in various industries with the use of technology but we need to pay attention to the rate at which these and other efforts echo across communities and see to their implementation.

Q: What methods are you implementing to maintain high follow-through rates and what tools will you use to encourage people not to give up?

A: As we learn from our development, we come to understand that e-learning deals not only with the quality and variety of the educational content provided but also with how education itself is made available to the users. Having access to on-demand online education is not a choice but a necessity in our current lifestyle because it allows students to have a malleable management of time while being able to move forward with their academic enrichment. As education shifts to a more personalized experience, we are inclined toward versatility for knowledge acquisition which, in turn, means we enjoy better follow-through and retention rates as students have a chance to complete studies at their own pace. This approach involves simplifying how each student is able to enroll in a course, interact, acquire knowledge and how the student gets certified. The process is being structured to allow automated operations for a fluid and convenient way to benefit from online education. As we also focus on basic education, our content is provided with a gamified spirit, allowing younger audiences to be introduced to medical science in a fun and energetic manner.

Q: How are people receiving new online-education platforms and how are they adapting to e-learning?

A: The efficacy of online education is a proven fact as it encompasses a more immersive and interactive experience. It has been restructuring society for over a decade now. Online education has been disruptive and repercussions are seen worldwide in formal e-learning and also with non-formal, concomitant knowledge acquired from mixing modern entertainment content with access to global information. As larger segments of society organically adopt these new information channels, we believe that this is the perfect time for LATAM to invest and harness the power of a broadened and more pragmatic approach to resolving our needs with the use of both formal and nonformal online education. The technologies we use have been in use in the e-learning community for decades, but we are always looking to combine new and more effective alternatives with our current development.

Not only does the student need to adapt to e-learning but so does the instructor. In our experience, instructors have had a harder time embracing these new ways of providing access to knowledge; they are increasing their own adeptness at the same time as the student. This is the reason we invite LATAM academics to dive deeper into globally available online education. As the intercontinental mission to better educate society is rapidly being redefined, providing the lens through which each community interprets information requires even more direction and objectivity. We are always excited to strategically address these issues in conjunction with other entities and open our doors to innovative education initiatives around the world.

Q: The largest education and healthcare provider is the government. Do you have plans to work with it?

A: Indeed, the government sector has a categorical role in both education and healthcare. Combined efforts with the private industry have helped to build the foundation of our government infrastructure. On that account, we are and will continue to be active in undertaking collaborative initiatives with governmental bodies to plan and act for the future. Our dedication and focus will teach us the best way to coincide with the government for the sake of our communities.

Q: Astrum Social has been live since June 2016. What results have you seen so far?

A: Astrum Social is a social network platform that involves the sharing of knowledge, emotions and experiences that reflect the current Latin American view of health and wellness around the world while also directing the vision of where it is going in the future. The platform allows users to interact with content provided by other users and to communicate with each other with the ability to create personal profiles, groups, dedicated pages, and also be able to play games, listen to music and watch videos, all focusing on promoting a healthy lifestyle between its users. All users see the Astrum feed on their home page, which offers diverse, educational and informative content related to health and medicine to stay updated while interacting with other users. Users can create bonds and meet in person while being collaboratively proactive about their health.

After we launched phase one of the platform, we received productive feedback from our limited user database and have redesigned certain features, fixed minor bugs and reconditioned our news feed according to comments. Additionally, we have implemented an enhanced music store that allows users to purchase content from different artists and therapists focused on mindfulness, music therapy and meditation. As we expand these features and include products and services from our other branches, such as Astrum Educación and Astrum Móvil, we aim to deliver an integrated social ecosystem that encompasses both the social and commercial value that digital infrastructures often provide. We are in production release, as we say in the IT development sector, but we are always fine-tuning to focus our global vision on how to provide access to better health, better education and to push social development forward.

Q: What are the main projects you will be focusing on this year?

A: In healthtech, we will be acclimatizing our telemedicine services for particular conditions and diseases to be able to extend the benefits of our platform. We are proud to serve an all-encompassing digital solution for diabetes patients as well as a program for obesity, both of which we will be launching during 2017.