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EF: 2020 was a year of diagnosis and prevention, and 2021 was the year of vaccines. What do you think 2022 will be the year off?
SC: 2022 will be a year to reflect on the future. What culminates out of it is a clear indication of where we are going. We observed an increase and decrease in demand for certain services from a healthcare perspective as a result of the pandemic, for example, consumption of Vitamin D was on a rise, as people took notes on how to balance and be aware of their health status.Therefore, we expect 2022 to hit the new normal look. We'll see more interactions business-wise, especially in the pharma sector. The whole technological aspect of healthcare is also something that people are going to observe and adopt.
EF: Could you provide three examples of lessons learnt that can be leveraged for the future?
SC: The first is agility and decision-making. We learned that we need to observe flexibility for all stakeholders within the healthcare ecosystem and be able to move very fast. The second is the digital and technological aspects. We made a big jump in terms of increasing competencies and capabilities across the digital spectrum and using technology, which is a game changer. A good example is meta telemedicine. The third lesson is that there was a surge in health awareness, prevention, and treatment, unlike at the beginning of the pandemic when people panicked about death.
EF: What have been the biggest opportunities and necessities for your clients?
SC: The bulk of our clients are from the pharma go-to-market and business models. Our biggest support channel to our clients was digital transformation, incorporated with traditional medical education. We rolled out tools to engage on the web, without necessarily meeting in person or offices. Engaging with physicians is now a trend taking centre stage in Brazil.
Artificial Intelligence provides the opportunity to implement tactical aspects. It's using hardcore analytics and the processing power of computers to make your business more efficient and it's better for the customer at the other end of the spectrum. Digital engagement, digital strategy, and productivity improvements increased significantly.
We have applied the same process in clinical studies and research to make them more efficient. Our merger has been very good for us, and for the healthcare ecosystem overall because the main idea is to use data to make clinical research more efficient, meaning faster, better, and cheaper.
EF: Could you elaborate on the healthcare factors that make Brazil a unique market?
SC: Brazil's healthcare is quite unique in terms of how it operates compared to the rest of Latin America. On top of the public healthcare system, Brazil has a supplemental private system, with a coverage that is a dynamic observed in developed countries. There is a unique mode of operation, and a lot of companies have invested in terms of understanding these different ecosystems, and what the needs are in each one of them. We are strategizing on how we can apply new technologies to the Brazilian population. You can go to CONITEC and gain access at the national level, to state health secretaries, or at the municipal level.
The same levels can be observed in the private sector where you can go through ANS and get inclusion automatically. You can try it at the individual level. There's a lot of investment from pharma in segmenting, understanding, and then building specialized go-to-market structures.
EF: How will technology impact the performance of therapeutic areas and portfolios?
SC: Portfolios are more complex, they have more personalized treatments, and increased availability of patient support programs. The bulk of these programs is geared toward reducing bottlenecks on the patient, which can be served digitally through telemedicine, diagnostic exams, logistics and clinical support, and availability of nurses online or physically. Technology has become the primary means of communication and engagement considering the size and scope of Brazil.
EF: Can you elaborate on the role of healthcare innovation in Brazil?
SC: The sector is active in accrediting new health tech initiatives like incubators and hackathons. Innovation has created a shift in roles, merges in the private sector mostly, and verticalization amongst the payers and providers. We also observed the horizontalization of businesses where payers are buying providers, but also providers are buying providers.
Healthcare demand in Brazil is going to increase whether the GDP grows or not since it's a demographic situation. We're ageing fast and the demand will explode, therefore we need to be more efficient, and technology will help us do so. The public sector is low on tech compared to the private and there’s going to be a meeting point eventually.
EF: In 20 years from now, what would you like your tenure to be remembered for?
SC: Healthcare in Brazil will grow exponentially in a stable economic situation and have sustainable growth. It's a favourable environment for providers, payers, and all players within the healthcare sector. It's our mandate as leaders to engage in debates, advocate, and champion the transition within the ecosystem with all the shareholders involved.
It has been done and proven with telemedicine, and e-prescribing within a short period of time. We need to weld on and cement what needs to be corrected to create a healthcare system that's efficient. I hope to be part of that discussion, 20 years from now.