The vast majority of Latin American medical specialists (cardiologists, oncologists, mental health specialists, and so on) are concentrated in the big cities. There is also a general shortage of specialists at high complexity health facilities, while the demand for specialized services is increasing. Add in infrastructure and geographical issues, and it’s clear that healthcare – particularly specialized care – faces complex challenges in Latin America.
Furthermore, Latin American countries’ economic growth has changed the population’s lifestyles. Life expectancy is higher, and with that comes an increased burden of disease resulting from chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.
Juan Antonio Karmy and his startup Heartlytics are leading the charge to improve healthcare in Chile. Heartlytics is a remote monitoring app for chronic condition patients, enabling them to report vital signs, symptoms, prescription adherence, and more via their mobile phone. One of the advanced features of Heartlytics is a prescription module, which provides patients a glimpse of their entire prescription and intake times – notifications arrive to remind the user to take their medication, and they have to report back that they have taken it.