Read the Conversation

EF: 2019 was a year of political transition in Mexico. 2020 being a year of transformation with the effects of COVID-19, what advice would you give in regards to managing in times of transition?

RA:The sooner the companies adapt to the new environments, understand the rules and the new way to work, the better. Addressing new people in the administration, understanding their rationale and contributing to the results are critical. Adapting to the new environment is fundamental and the sooner executives do it, the better it will be for the business.

EF: What was the mission given when appointed as General Manager for Mexico in July 2018, how have your priorities shifted and what is top of your agenda today?

RA: 2018 was a transition year for Mexico so I had first to regroup with my team, make sure the right people were onboard and implement the right strategy for 2019 and beyond. My second goal was to go after the market with an adapted market strategy understanding the new environment while providing our solutions to both the private and public sectors. We dedicated a lot of time to working with the government ensuring they understood the portfolio of solutions we offer and it has been an incredible learning experience.

EF: How do you define ‘Access’ and what is GE Healthcare doing to drive innovation and digitalization solutions to increase access in Mexico?

RA: Access to me is defined as the different ways government authorities and healthcare providers supply healthcare services to the population. Depending on the health policy established by the government, there are different ways of doing this, we must adapt our portfolios of solutions to the new healthcare policies created for servicing the population in general. Our company invests close to 5% of its revenue in new technologies, on new ways to work and new market trends. Artificial intelligence and digital solutions are generating new trends for businesses, users, government and private health institutions. We must work hand in hand with every party to boost the delivery of healthcare services to patients.

EF: What are you offering on AI, business models and the adaptation of the GE portfolio for Mexico?

RA: GE has been in Mexico for more than 125 years: we fully understand the dynamics of this market, the way the government, and the private institution’s function. The full portfolio we have today is adapted to imaging around diagnostic needs and life support activities. Our products are designed for diagnosis, therapy, and treatment of patients. We are in the business of clinical ventilators for intensive care units, monitoring patients in hospital environments and ultrasound equipment used for diagnosis in hospitals and doctors consulting rooms so we have a wide breadth of business that is evolving in this digital era. We have AI tools to provide the best diagnosis, as they see beyond the doctor’s eye, ensuring an accurate diagnosis. Efficiencies in the healthcare system are fundamental, the long queues in public health hospitals are common knowledge. We provide tools in aid of reducing those long waits, increasing access through new technologies. Diagnostics through our systems help to make healthcare services more efficient. Our mission and vision, promise and statement are that we are present when it matters most to people, which is why we have teamed up with FORD to make more ventilators available in this time of need, showing our commitment to Mexican society and government, making sure the required technology is available. This shows our capacity to adapt to the new needs of the country doing whatever is necessary to overcome this situation.

EF: The concept of ‘diagnosis’ has taken on a protagonist role since January this year. How do you think you can keep the momentum on the importance of diagnostics beyond COVID-19?

RA: The role of diagnosis does not only relate to COVID, but it is also the basis of healthcare as we cannot move forward with any patient without a correct diagnostics. Our commitment is to provide an accurate diagnosis by way of imaging devices as a core point in patient’s treatment, we develop new technologies and systems incorporating AI and digital  solutions to ensure the correct diagnosis and so apply the correct therapy. Additionally, it is not only important to provide the infrastructure, but also educate the stakeholders, physicians, nurses and patients on how important is to be correctly diagnosed, and what tools exist.

EF: How would you grade the level of adoption of the latest technologies and innovation in Mexico, both from a public and private standpoint?

RA: In general the adoption of new technologies appears to be linked to the age of the people using it. Our aim is to make our products easier to use so the physicians’ age when using the technology is immaterial and they have only to focus on generating the diagnosis for the individual patients. The technology incorporated in all our digital solutions is moving very fast, over a year ago independent companies presented different AI solutions and since the last RSNA these solutions have already been incorporated into the different products provided in the market so what was an innovation in 2018 is today a reality already implemented and used in hospitals. Our philosophy and commitment as manufacturers and designers of technology are incorporating high technology that is user friendly so that the focus is not on the technology but on the patients and diagnosis of that patient.

EF: What message would you like to send to business executives of the healthcare sector and beyond to strengthen investors’ confidence in Mexico?

RA: Have a lean and ready organization that can adapt to current environments. As leaders, we must provide guidance, communication channels both internally and externally are very important in leadership for collaborating and providing solutions. We are responsible for giving hope that things will continue and we expect our people to continue freely contributing to the organization. Together we are stronger and can overcome any situation regardless of the difficulty involved. Thirdly in situations such as the present, we must collaborate with the government and our other companies, competitors in some cases, for the Mexican population to get what it needs to overcome COVID. AMID is doing a very good job in coordinating that effort and I believe we will be in a better situation shortly. We must generate collaboration among the different companies and the government because all that really matters is the people. The message to my team would be that regardless of selling technology at the end of the chain there is a person that needs to be cured and we have the opportunity to do better for the patient, but more importantly, assist the decision making physicians to treat patients and prescribe therapies. We must continue to be close to our customers especially in these turbulent times, keeping our eyes open to identify the opportunities and act on them.

April 2020