This episode is a collection of thoughts giving you a glimpse into the global digital health market.
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Dr. Daniel Kraft, one of the top opinion leaders in digital health, nicely summarized the current state of digital health in Episode 81.
Julien de Salaberry, the CEO of Galen Growth Asia emphasized in episode 41 that is important to keep in mind when thinking about expanding in this area of the world.
Guillem Serra, the CEO of the Spanish based company Mediquo, guest in episode 84, says that in internationalization and looking at new potential markets, language is the most important factor to consider.
Different countries differ in their culture and how technologies are used. I’d say that different parts of the world “run” on different platforms. In China, society runs on WeChat. In India, the key communication platform in Whatsapp. Abhishek Shah, CEO of Wellthy digital therapeutics company from India, who was the guest of episode 78, explained how the use of Whatsapp in India differs from the West. It is gaining a similar significance as WeChat has in China. Which is why, Wellthy conducted some of their clinical studies through Whatsapp.
Have you ever wondered, what is the digital health scene like in Africa? You know, the continent that many people around the world talk about as a country, but actually consists of 54 countries? Among the speakers on the show coming from Africa, was the founder of Mobile Afya - Mariatheresa Samson Kadushi. She is a Tanzanian innovator passionate about disrupting the public health sector, which is in Africa marked by traditional beliefs. In episode 056 she among other things explained how in Africa, worries about privacy in the digital age are not worries about how are global corporations are exploiting our data.
Moving from Asia to Africa, European healthcare systems are often praised for universal access to care. However, as mentioned by the patient advocate Bettina Ryll in episode 68, in Europe where you live significantly impacts your access to healthcare. Especially in rare diseases chances of survival of a patient can depend on where the patient resides and are there any clinical trials near her. People move, to get a chance at survival. This very much reminds me of the often-mentioned fact by US experts, that the ZIP code the biggest determinant of health is.
From a business perspective, Europe is a complicated market. You need to tackle language barriers, the diversity of healthcare systems and policies. Kaia Health is a digital therapeutics startup that was founded in Germany and is now operating in the US market as well. In episode 77 Mark Liber, the VP of business development at Kaia Health, talked about the differences they are noticing between the German and the US.
While we mostly perceive the future of healthcare digitization as a one-way progression street, Luis Santigo, the CEO of a Venezuelan healthcare IT company PEGASI explained how progress can get crushed when the economic situation of a country changes. In the last few years, in Venezuela, many hospitals had to switch from IT back to paper, because IT companies went bankrupt and ceased existing.