CONCIERGE MEDICAL SERVICES

Mexico 2017 | HEALTH & EDUCATION | B2B

Customization and the ability to work across sectors is key for highly patient-focused sub segments within healthcare.

Juana Ramírez
JUANA RAMÍREZ
CEO & Founder
SOHIN
Andrés Jurado
ANDRÉS JURADO
Director & Founder
My Medical Vacations (MMV)

How did you develop the concept for your services?

JUANA RAMÍREZ SOHIN was created as a project that seeks to transform the way we assist patients that have chronic degenerative diseases, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic renal failure, and others. We optimize resources and grant a better life quality to patients, providing the health system with a solution. Patients with a chronic degenerative disease have different needs. We cannot attend to these needs through standard medicine; we need to understand them through personalized and individualized medicine. First, we offer personalized medicine through the concierge model in which an assistant is assigned to each patient, and he/she becomes the specialized assistant for the patient to resolve all the needs throughout the disease, ranging from the administrative aspect to medical appointments, delivery of medicine, psychological assistance, and nutritional and emotional support. We also have an added-value team with psychologists, nutritionists, and thanatologists that are working with the patients and their families. Second, we also have a genetic diagnostic unit that we offer to doctors. It is the largest portfolio of genetic tests in Mexico. With full genetic information, doctors can make better decisions about treatment and design individualized treatments.

ANDRÉS JURADO We learned that there was an emerging trend to commercialize medical services in Cancún to American and Canadian patients; hence, I approached a surgical center, which allowed me to learn about its operations and activity in depth. There are medical services that are provided by doctors, clinics, and hospitals; however, the customer service elements for medical tourists not within the normal range of hospital activities were lacking, namely personalized attention, follow up, and logistics. This is why we sought out this opportunity to launch this project of our own. It was launched in 2013, and from then on we have focused our services specifically on addressing these elements that were lacking.

How do you bring together different stakeholders within, and beyond, the health sector?

JR Regarding our genetics testing offerings, we work with 95% of insurers in the country. With the concierge service we are working with the biggest ones. Approximately 70% of patients with chronic degenerative diseases such as cancer have access to the concierge service, but our target is the public sector. We want to democratize access to health. Additionally, because SOHIN has grown between 35 and 70% annually, this makes us an attractive company to investors. I was the only partner until 2016, when I did the first investment round, and we are concluding the first round this year. I hope in a couple of years to do the second round of investments. The health sector is attractive for investment funds, and since we are one of the few successful entrepreneur cases in the health sector, funds have come to us directly. My job is to choose partners that align with the vision of the company, that have a component of social impact.

AJ Our biggest challenge was bringing together hospital and tourism operators. Hospital language and hospitality language are two different things, so there was a need to create an education process for hospitals and hotels to understand this new type of client. This is a completely new approach and not a lot of hotels have been able to overcome this challenge, so the ones that have are the ones that we gladly work with. At the same time, hospitals have a major opportunity to develop and commercialize their services; they are not used to it because they do not have the experience or the need. Therefore, those were the biggest challenges, to put together these two industries to create packages that would fulfill all of the needs of the patients that travel to our destination for a medical procedure.

Where do you see growth coming from and what are your upcoming priorities?

JR We want to have 100,000 patients by 2020. Attending, understanding, and transforming the attention model for these patients is vital. We want to continue our advance in Latin America—we also have a presence in Colombia and Argentina—and in 10 years, we want to be on the stock market. We want SOHIN to be able to change patient care for these diseases.

AJ The biggest growth has been in establishing new medical services. We started out with only plastic surgery and dental services and now we have five programs. In terms of offerings, we have grown and have established these programs successfully. Also, in terms of volume of patients, we have been having good results in the past two or three years, and we aim to continue that way.