Latin America has been increasing its Healthtech industry and these are already showing. It had some great 2021 results, including several notable achievements. 44% of Healthtech startupsThey saw a positive change in their businesses as a result of the pandemic. Not to mention that VCs were particularly bullishIn the area
People who have faced difficulties in accessing healthcare, inequality, or inefficiently distributing their resources are seeing new innovations that transform the lives of people. AI-powered drug design, data-driven prevention and diagnosis, as well as advanced telehealth platforms, are only some of the innovative solutions being developed to improve healthcare throughout the LATAM region.
From Mexico all the way to Chile, let’s take a look at some of the brilliant minds working behind Latin America’s Healthtech.
Luis Santiago, the CEO and Director at PEGASIA Venezuelan Startup that’s Looking to digitize medical data in Latin America—an ambitious task considering that 70% of the region’s medical information continues to be on paper.
Santiago’s mission is to improve the management of patients’ information, ensuring security, accessibility, and privacy. The data can be anonymized and aggregated to provide real-time surveillance of the health status of the population, particularly for tracking endemic or epidemic diseases.
Santiago places emphasis on human interactions and interpersonal relationships in his work. “Leading a startup is based on technical knowledge, sure,” he said in an interviewBizLatinHub. “But it’s more about interpersonal abilities, leadership, and clear communications to assure synergy between founders, employees, clients, and investors”.
Mike Hoey is an executive mentor and founder of Source Meridian IPSUM ClinicalThe company is also known as His focus is on combining startup growth and enterprise growth with innovative healthcare and pharmaceutical solutions.
Starting his career working for Accenture in their pharmaceutical practice in the 90s’, Hoey then went on to become a CTO for a submission publishing startup ESPS, helping the company achieve a dominant market share in pharmaceutical publishing and exited with a successful IPO. His key role was to advise numerous startups in both the pharmaceutical and software regulatory areas.
Within IPSUM Clinical, a site management organization operating in Colombia, Hoey oversees the creation of a network of INVIMA approved sites for conducting clinical trials in tropical medicine, metabolic disorders, Alzheimer’s research, and more. Source Meridian, Hoey’s company, also assists in the development and integration of connected healthcare technologies as well as large-scale data analysis capabilities.
Ramsés De La Rosa
Ramsés De La Rosa, a principal at ZS, leads the management consultancy’s nearshore operations in Argentina. He assists organizations all over the world in implementing long-lasting, tech-enabled strategies and has experience working with the most prominent drugmakers and medical equipment producers in the region.
Before joining ZS, De La Rosa worked with P&G as a process and operations engineer. Before relocating to South America, he was managing ZS’s Toronto and Evanston offices. After that, he was responsible for developing ZS’s business in Brazil and co-led the launch of the office in São Paulo.
Christina Coughlin MD. Ph.D., is an immunologist, oncologist, and pharmacist who are passionate about finding a cure for our immune system.
After finishing her double bachelor’s degree at Temple University in mathematics and biology, she set off to study at the University of Pennsylvania’s med school, getting a postdoc degree and MD. That’s where her love for cell therapyShe was the first to be recognized for her achievements, which still define her career. Notable biopharmacy companies, such as Novartis and Pfizer, are some of her highlights, along with other biotechs like Immunocore or Tmunity.
Coughlin serves as CEO CytoImmune Therapeutics, a Puerto Rico-based cell therapy company that focuses on developing natural killer (NK) immunotherapies designed to utilize the power of a patient’s own immune system to destroy cancer cells. CytoImmune will benefit from her leadership in filing Investigational New Drugs (IND) applications to develop new immunotherapy programs for solid and hematological malignancies.
Andrés Lawson is the founder and CEO of Osana Salud, a remote business that was founded in Buenos Aires a mere few months prior to the outbreak of the pandemic. The mission of his company is to provide a new way for Latin American healthcare providers.
His efforts to change the fact that some 50% of Latin America doesn’t have access to quality healthcare are paying off. In August 2021, Osana Salud earned the spotlight after raising $20 million to build API-connected infrastructure for Latin America’s healthcare industry. “Our vision is to enable affordable and accessible healthcare for every person in Latin America by leveraging technology,” Lawson told TechCrunch. To achieve this, his company now employs around 200 remote workers.
Sergio Marín is a Colombia-based tech engineer, researcher, and entrepreneur who has launched three technology-based companies centered around the Internet of Things (IoT). He has been recognized as one the most influential people in technology. top innovatorsLatin America: Under 35
While working as a university professor and researcher, Marín developed Wireless Heart Arrhythmia Monitoring (WHAM), a patented electronic system for monitoring biomedical signals and detecting cardiac arrhythmias in real-time.
I am the Chief Executive Officer of NetuxOne of his companies is focusing on the Internet of Medical Things in Colombia and Latin America. He wants to improve healthcare efficiency, security, and affordability. By visualizing the patient care process information and allowing for interoperability and integration of diverse systems—Netux enables the monitoring of vital signs (even remotely), calling systems for nursing, bed availability, cold chain for medicine, and more.
Juan Pablo Montoya
“For every dollar invested in mental and emotional health, there’s a four-dollar return.” This is the important message of Juan Pablo Montoya, the co-founder, and CEO of MomentuLatin America’s only corporate platform for mental health.
Being a former associate consultant at MasterCard, Montoya says that his growth path has taken him “from studying at UC Berkeley to a retreat in the Himalayas.” Since launching Momentu in 2021, he has been busy helping the company raise $400 thousand that will be used to fight the mental health epidemic brought by Covid-19 and sorely felt by those working from home.
While Momentu’s team is mostly based in Colombia, the company is soon launching its operations in Mexico. It will provide resources for businesses to comply with Mexican regulations NOM-035, which require companies to offer emotional support to employees.
Adrien Châtillon is a “neuroscience entrepreneur” and the co-founder and CEO of Actipulse NeuroscienceThe pioneering medical technology company focusing on brain health is. It has offices in Mexico City and Boston.
In addition to living and working in more than eight countries, Châtillon co-founded two startups in his native France before founding Actipulse, specializing in non-invasive brain stimulation therapeutics to treat neurological and psychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and post-stroke conditions.
As the company’s CEO, Châtillon also champions the battle against Major Depressive Disorder, helping bring hospital-setting treatments to mental health patients’ homes to counter the current mental health crisis. Up to now, over 10,000 patients have used Actipulse’s proprietary neuromodulation technology.
Guillermo Pepe (Buenos Aires, CEO) is an entrepreneur trying to change the realities of some. 70% of all cancer deathsMost cases occur in middle and low-income countries.
Graduated from University Torcuato di Tella in Argentina and Luigi Bocconi in Italy, Pepe took the FutureMed course at NASA’s Singularity University. He has been involved in multiple business ventures across different industries and countries. In Argentina, Pepe returned to his father, who is a radiology specialist in the diagnosis of breast cancer, to help him with a project called “The FutureMed Course at NASA’s Singularity University.” Mamotest.
Mamotest, the Latin American’s first telemammography network, is a pioneer in democratizing early detection and reducing breast cancer deaths. The satellite centers are located in areas with limited access. All of them have digital mammography machines and radiology technicians that allow mammograms to be performed on-site. The ability to provide a diagnosis back to the point of origin in 24 hours.
Javier Andrés Cardona Mora
Javier Andres Cardona Mora is the co-founder and CEO of Bogotá-based 1DOC3An AI-assisted platform for telemedicine that allows doctors to be accessed in seconds, without the need of an appointment.
While video visits may be common in the US, Cardona and his team were aware that the key to unlocking Latin America’s market lied in dominated apps like WhatsApp—to truly provide access to care through text and chat. “In 97% of our consultations, you’re connected to a doctor in a matter of minutes,” Cardona said for TechCrunch. His company was able to raise $3 million pre-series B funding in April 2021 due to its unprecedented efficiency and ease.
Apart from reaching customers directly, 1DOC3 is looking to establish corporate partnerships where the companies pay for their employees’ medical care through the startup. The company is not only located in Colombia. is said to already operateMexico, Peru, Ecuador
Laura Mendoza was the co-founder and chief operating officer of UnimaMexican-based biotech firm focusing on low-cost, fast-acting diagnostics to manage diseases that threaten billions across the globe.
Mendoza studied chemical engineering and has three master’s degrees: in bioprocesses, plant genetics, and marketing. “My personal mission is that throughout our lives, we will all enjoy a healthy life, free of preventable, curable diseases, regardless of our ability to pay,” she says. She has already raised $2.6 million for her goal.
While today’s diagnostic technologies are extremely effective and accurate, they often require specialized labs and equipment scarce in emerging and developing economies. Unima making sureIt is possible to quickly diagnose any disease even if you have no technical knowledge.
Guilherme ambar is currently the CEO. He is a scientist, biologist and doctor of Zoology. Seegene BrazilThe Brazilian affiliate of Korean in-vitro diagnostics giant (IVD), which holds more than 160 patents.
Ambar, who is a specialist in molecular biology, physiology and chemistry, worked many years at Molecular Brasil. He was the commercial coordinator, scientific advisor, and finally the scientific director. In 2018, he joined Innovare Diagnósticos but left in 2019 to lead the opening of the Brazilian branch of Seegene and continues to be in charge to this day.
Ambar is an important promoter of molecular diagnostics. This sector is expected to grow in importance as Brazilian labs will be able to access the necessary resources and expertise. He believes that the market outlooks for the future are better than ever with Covid-19 shining a light on molecular diagnosis using RT-PCR tests, and other such tools.
Gerardo Herrero, the founder and CEO of the Buenos Aires startup has held the position for eight years. AlephooHe founded the company to improve healthcare efficiency and offer a better experience for patients in Latin America.
Herrero’s company placed a bet on cloud-based information management systems for hospitals. This was evident through the Hospital Digital Ecosystem (HDE). It allows administrators to maximize productivity and build a closer relationship with patients. EHR Blockchain is one of their technologies. Alephoo currently has operations in six LATAM nations, Panama the latest. Their 250 network of health centers in the region have enabled them to reach more than 5.2 million people.
Robert Salcedo was the CEO and co-founder. Ocyonbio, a Puerto Rico-based business that aims at becoming a Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP), incubator space for healthcare and healthtech actors, as well as the pharmaceutical industry.
Salcedo’s career path started at Cornell, where he studied Chemistry. Today, he’s counting over 25 years of experience in biotechnology and cell therapy. For over seven years, he has also worked closely with startups in gene and cell therapy companies to develop regulatory, CMC, and clinical and commercialization strategies—with one of his key milestones as leader of facility development the technical transfer for Amgen Puerto Rico.
Ocyonbio is a company that aims to promote innovation in Healthtech through its Puerto Rico site. It has over 25k sq feet of space for gene and cell therapy, including the ability to hotel, incubate, or create custom-built commercial and clinical suites. Ocyonbio supports actors in early development, preclinical, clinical and commercial start.
Renato pino, a 12 year-old growth consultant in healthcare has a lot of expertise in innovation and digital medicine. This experience is what he uses to lead his Chile-based startup. SnabbAs the CEO.
Snabb’s goal is to place the patient at the centre of their healthcare by providing a web browser which overcomes Latin America’s traditional fragmentation. Pino founded the company in 2017 after suffering from thrombosis. He had to travel for over an hour to locate a doctor. He had to deal with a system that had no empathy or solid structure throughout this serious illness—something he wanted to change.
“My dream is that people navigate a healthcare system that allows them the timely access to the services they require, within a model that works based on personalized care and puts the correct incentives in place for a greater scope and better market efficiency,” Pino says.
Adrian de la Garza
Adrian de la Garza (Mexican doctor, veteran healthcare entrepreneur) co-founded the company and is currently its leader Doctu, a user-friendly app that connects both corporate and individual patients with healthcare providers through chat or video, enabling timely and convenient care—anytime, anywhere.
De la Garza shares a passion for digital healthcare and its future. Doctu is a platform that helps Latin American employers recover their lost payrolls due to absenteeism as well as reduce employee healthcare costs.
“Healthcare is a slow beast. While you may be able to move very fast in some areas, moving quickly enough to disrupt healthcare operations isn’t always the best idea. It’s not just about speed but about value. Focusing on value-based care while considering and reducing friction for every stakeholder,” he says on his Twitter.
David Barac, an entrepreneur from an economics background and management background, co-founded BitmecThe telemedicine startup based in Guatemala, is a tech company that develops hardware and software for primary healthcare.
Today, about 60% of the Guatemalan populationAccess to basic healthcare services is difficult for rural residents. With the majority of patients financing care out of their own pocket, smart AI-powered telehealth solutions, according to Bitmec, could alleviate the problem—particularly for those living below the poverty line. However, the company’s potential goes far beyond Guatemalan borders, proven by Bitmec’s successful launch in Chile back in 2019.
Christian River is a neurocritical medicine physician who also happens to be a passionate entrepreneur. His experience includes the private and public sector as well clinical research and in the pharma and pharmaceutical industries. He was the founder and CEO. Smart DoctorThe Peru-based technology platform enables easy appointment scheduling, online consultations, and operations in Peru, Colombia, Mexico.
Rivera likes to challenge outdated systems and improve processes through technology: “I fight day by day to build a fair and equitable sanitary system with timely access to health services for all people in LATAM,” he states on his LinkedIn. Rivera’s company has been implementing innovative technologies such as AI, telemedicine, blockchain and telemedicine to help achieve his goal.
Smart Doctor is able to offer telehealth consultations in over 120,000 locations by 2021. Rivera said that Smart Doctor will grow quickly, as the company plans to add more services in 2021. startup registered a 500% increaseHealthcare services are in high demand.
Gabriel Castillo Szpoganicz
Gabriel Castillo Szpoganicz (entrepreneur, designer and manager) is also the founder of and CEO Doc Doc—a Colombia-based tech-focused health plan that leverages telemedicine, design, and clinical data science to humanize healthcare.
Castillo says that one thing he loves is talking about the strategy to employees and investors. That’s perhaps why his company attracted some notable investors, including 500Startups, Seedstars, StartupHealth, Startup Chile, Rappi co-founders, Clínica de la Mujer, Clínica Chicamocha, and angel investors too.
This will be October 2021 La Republica reportedDoc Doc became the biggest virtual hospital in Latin America after three years. Doc Doc has over 3000 active users. The service can be used in all Spanish-speaking countries, with the largest impact being in Mexico and Chile.
Felipe Clemente Santos
Felipe Clemente Santos, a medical device manufacturer and automotive expert with over twenty years’ experience throughout LATAM countries and the world beyond, has a wealth of knowledge. His work experience is defined by working with industry giants, including Johnson & Johnson or GE Healthcare. He is a veteran executive who has led several companies including Sodexo’s Healthcare Brazil CEO before stepping down to be the CEO of PixeonIn June 2021.
Pixeon, one of Brazil’s largest developers of software for healthcare management, diagnostic and laboratory medicine is a Pixeon. Pixeon has developed many complex software systems that are used throughout the country in hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centers. It also provides services to laboratories across Brazil, which have over 1500 clients.
“I am convinced that the future of health is built on technological and dynamic solutions, and from processes that involve all the forces within a company,” he said when assuming the CEO post. He is committed to growing and developing relationships with key stakeholders.
Disclosure: The article refers to clients of Espacio Portfolio companies.
Tereza Biskova is a writer based in Medellín, Colombia. Her work has appeared in publications including El Espectador, The Bogotá Post, and others.