Georgina García
President
Cluster Médico Jalisco
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View from the Top

Transversal Initiatives Propel Specialized Health Talent

By Miriam Bello | Tue, 06/15/2021 - 11:31

Q: How is the transversal model “Una Salud por Jalisco” benefiting the state?

A: The core part of this project are the actors that come together to develop strategies that benefit the population. To that end, Cluster Medico Jalisco expanded the state’s health ecosystem alongside the Americas Continental Health Alliance (ACHA). Through this partnership, we are helping our research partners and startups to connect with other researchers and propel innovation through experienced support from other actors. Moreover, we offer legal guidance so our members can learn from past experiences when registering their developments. Through this entire process, we try to involve the corresponding medical professionals who can add valuable input.

We achieved successful technology transfers with other international institutions to boost some entrepreneurial initiatives in Jalisco. Likewise, we built alliances with international accelerators, venture capital funds and local third parties for a clear regulatory alignment.

With Jalisco’s government, through the Ministry of Economic Development, we supported companies that had already acquired advanced technology readiness levels (TRL8 and TRL9) and that have potential to expand internationally. Our current task with the ministry is to demonstrate that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, there is much value and many opportunities to scale entrepreneurial products to the national and regional market.

One of our future projects will target foreign investment attraction. The initiative “Go to Jalisco” will seek to capitalize on Jalisco’s potential for manufacturing medical devices and on its biotechnology expertise and technological developments.

We have been able to boost and position Jalisco as a Mexican Silicon Valley by recognizing the strengths of the state and by working together to transform them into solutions and advantages.

Q: What are the most common needs you have identified during the COVID-19 pandemic that can be addressed by telehealth?

A: In the public sector, it was difficult to follow up with non-COVID-19 patients. Therefore, we have been developing a project to again focus on the most widespread pathologies in Jalisco: diabetes, cancer and hypertension. The project will promote prevention, care and early detection of chronic disease through health strategies.

Two German associations are providing us with the necessary technological support to reach remote communities and promote access and health coverage. Patients who could benefit from this project will be referred by the Ministry of Health.

Q: What is Jalisco’s role in medical devices manufacturing?

A: Jalisco has a great opportunity to exploit its manufacturing potential regarding medical devices. Currently, the northern region of the country has the largest exposure in this regard. Companies in the region enjoy tax incentives and it is a strategic location next to the US market. Jalisco, however, is well positioned to establish and grow an industry that demands talent, of which the state has very good availability. Jalisco has highly qualified biomedical engineers and health professionals who can cater to this industry. Moreover, Jalisco’s air transportation is optimal for smaller medical devices and its climate is also favorable for controlled-environment manufacturing. The state is looking forward to building the required manufacturing processes, working alongside the Ministry of Economy.

Q: Once the pandemic is over, what is Jalisco’s potential as a destination for medical tourism?

A: Statistics support Jalisco’s potential for medical tourism. This potential is being exploited by the Cluster of Hospitals in Jalisco and by our cluster. We are convinced that the state will stand out in medical tourism. To that end, Jalisco is promoting its two main destinations: its metropolitan area and beaches. 

Q: What is the cluster doing to support a successful vaccination campaign that considers both the public and private sectors?

A: The Ministry of Health of Jalisco has done an outstanding job in providing equal attention to the public and private sectors during this process. While vaccinations are coordinated at a federal level, the state has been pushing for better logistics processes.  

To date, medical professionals in Jalisco who were left out during the primary period of vaccination contemplated by the federal government have received at least the first dose of the vaccine. This was accomplished at the insistence of our governor in talks with the federal government.

Q: What new projects will Cluster Médico Jalisco pursue?

A: We are joining an event called Talent Health Land, which targets young entrepreneurs in diverse health areas such as artificial intelligence or digitalization. This year we will also address precision and personalized medicine, health and climate change, and data science. This event attracts around 400,000 young entrepreneurs from all parts of the world. The value it generates includes raising awareness among young generations about the importance of health and global trends.

 

Cluster Médico Jalisco is a civil organization that integrates industry, academia and government to develop new technologies for healthcare applications. The cluster also aims to support the local industry by substituting imports as well as the promotion of start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst