Digital Health- The Time Has Come

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The following is a blog post by Aljosha Novakovic, Co-Founder of Medko.

In fostering an entrepreneurial ecosystem, “Chilecon Valley” has also begun to form smaller sub-ecosystems. One that is just beginning to emerge is digital health, the intertwining of technology and healthcare with the purpose of bettering the world around us. Digital health encompasses EMR, Telehealth, mobile health, fitness and nutrition enhancement, and perhaps most importantly (maybe I am biased) the fostering of a closer doctor to patient relationship.

The digital health movement is important because it is disrupting an industry that desperately needs it- healthcare. Technology has the potential to bring transparency, lower healthcare spending, and build healthier communities. For example, Watsi is utilizing technology and social media to save lives, talk about ‘solving a problem.’ Because of lawsuits, government policy and FDA regulation, healthcare is an area that has traditionally been ‘intimidating’ for lean entrepreneurs. But its time has come, as the undeniable potential has drawn in daring entrepreneurs from all corners of the globe. Don’t just take my word for it- digital health startups raised $1.4B in venture funding in 2012, up 46% from 2011.

Just like any movement, the spread of an idea, is perhaps most important. You may have heard of Health2.0, an organization that has been so successful with its global conferences that today the term #health2.0 is used interchangeably with ‘digital health.’ Health2.0’s primary requirement for opening a new branch is finding a few key founders who are passionate about spreading the idea of digital health. Conferences have been held across the states and Europe, with newer chapters in the Middle East, South-East Asia, and Brazil.

So what about Spanish speaking Latin America? Santiago has been on the rise, and serves as the perfect city to build a booming digital health community. The health entrepreneurs of Chile have big plans, and currently are organizing the newest Health2.0 chapter to arrive to Santiago. But that’s not to say that the movement has not already begun. Viralizando held it’s first ever digital health conference last year, and boasted notable speakers, over 200 attendees, and 1000 online viewers. The conference was an opportunity for entrepreneurs, doctors, and patients to connect, share ideas, and start a movement. This year’s conference, May 24, will feature a demo session in which local startups will be pitching. Here are 4 Startup Chile startups attending:

Medko

Find the right doctor for you. Compare profiles, interact with your doctor ahead of time, book your appointment directly through the platform, and walk into your appointment with confidence.

Pace4Life

A Non-Profit Organization that reuses “previously loved” pacemakers in the developing world for impoverished individuals.

LaMedicina

An online pharmacy that takes your drug usage patterns and medical history and builds you a statistical profile to try and predict what illnesses you’re going to develop before you do.

Medical Joyworks

Makes learning medicine fun for both medical professional and patients; one of the leading mobile medical education companies worldwide.

Together, the Viralizando community, the Medko network of doctors, and everyone involved in making Santiago Health2.0 a reality, are onto something big.

“More powerful than the mighty armies is an idea whose time has come.” 

― Victor Hugo

#digitalHealth #viralizando #healthTech