Javier Guadarrama
Director General
Health and Benefits, a Grupo Promass Company
View from the Top

Telemedicine the Future to Better, Greater Health Access

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 17:18

Q: How does Health and Benefits (H&B) use information and communication technologies to bring healthcare services closer to the population?
A: H&B pioneered the use of information technology and communications (TIC) to provide healthcare services to the Mexican population. We have been offering our services for over 15 years and our affiliates account for more than 20 million people across the country. H&B uses telephonic assistance services and in the past year we are happy to share that we have not had a single incident and our quality surveys demonstrate satisfaction among our affiliates. Our latest survey, conducted by the Social Security Institute and involving 2 million people, confirmed a 94 percent rate of satisfaction and positions Health and Benefits as a strong telemedicine services company.
When we launched telephonic medical assistance, the company discovered that the majority of patients wrongly believed doctors had the appropriate training to provide nutritional and psychological advice. H&B saw this as an opportunity and opened a new area to offer specialized nutritional and psychological services. Nutrition is an integral element of an individual’s overall health. H&B uses the same technological mechanisms and customized service to provide nutritional and psychological assistance, reinforced with a digital platform named TeleSalud where patients can register their weight, size and height to receive information about body mass and suggest a goal they must reach.
Q: How does H&B provide its customers with an added value beyond digitalization?
A: Our core added value is in promoting change. H&B motivates its patients to take co-responsibility in the management of their health. We have extended our digital platform, called TeleSalud, to encompass all the services we offer, such as psychological, nutritional, medical and dental solutions. For example, previously H&B used a third-party application to provide teleconference consultations but the company developed its own digital tool for that. Our services are offered all across the country and in the near future, we expect to expand our services to Central America.
Q: What are the main needs your technology solves for clients?
A: Mainly we provide primary medical care to our members, but also nutritional and psychological support. The psychological care service is a very successful niche and it is growing rapidly because patients feel more secure in having a conversation when it is not face to face. Phone assistance provides patients with a greater facility to express how they feel and what they think. This allows people who live with a mental illness to feel more involved in their health and to have access to comprehensive care. Another example of the benefits of our technology is a device that takes blood pressure and glucose levels in real time and sends the data to the cloud via Bluetooth to be recorded in the patient’s clinical record. This tool promotes greater control for the patient but also gives the doctor the facility to follow up. All our solutions are based on international health recommendations, which gives our digital platform the added value of portability. This means patients own their electronic file and have the power to decide with whom and how to care for their health.
Q: With a clinical information base of 20 million people, what opportunities does H&B see in Big Data?
A: H&B is certified in ISO 270001 to protect all information. It also adheres to ethical and privacy standards. The company knows medical information can be sensitive and it is careful when using it. We have over 15 years of experience that has provided the company with a great deal of information but also with the necessary expertise to manage it. We are integrating this information to identify business opportunities and develop the appropriate technologies that can continue bringing access to healthcare closer to the population.