Latin America’s Virtual Care Revolution

Global access to care: that’s our mission and you can see it right there in our name. When I started GlobalMed in 2002, our goal was to help make evidence-based medicine available in every nation, not just the U.S. So it’s especially gratifying when we’re able to assist with transforming healthcare delivery in other nations – like our strategic partnership with Meditar, the premier healthcare network in Argentina.

As the largest managed healthcare company in Latin America, Meditar offers world-class medical professionals and state-of-the-art hospitals, surgery centers, diagnostic imaging centers, emergency centers and laboratories throughout Argentina and neighboring countries. Yet with 32 percent of the country living in poverty, not everyone has access to sophisticated resources.

GlobalMed and Meditar have partnered to change that by expanding Meditar’s medical expertise throughout the country using virtual health technologies. Erwin Padinger, Meditar Founder and President, called GlobalMed “the right global solution to extend healthcare across Argentina” because of the companies’ shared telemedicine philosophies. We’re both committed to transcending the simple video calls that previously defined telehealth by instead enabling evidence-based virtual consultations that can change lives in even the most remote parts of Argentina.

Launching TeleMeditar

To kick off this exciting new era in Argentina, the GlobalMed team recently visited Buenos Aires. The Meditar team welcomed us by showing us the Teatro Colón, one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world, and the architectural wonder that is Recoleta Cemetery.

On Wednesday, August 14, the new TeleMeditar program officially launched during a special event at the U.S. Ambassador’s home: the historic Bosch Palace and was introduced by the U.S. Ambassador to Argentina, Edward C. Prado. It was attended by the Ministry of Health, healthcare CEOs, physicians, and academic and religious leaders – demonstrating how passionate Argentine leaders are about telemedicine’s potential to transform healthcare for their citizens. The Minister of Health of Argentine province Catamarca, Dr. Ramón Figueroa Castellanos, called the new solutions “a very important leap in quality, since they are the new strategies that allow us to have a more equitable, fairer and much more accessible system for public health.” See event photos.

Creating International Connected Care

Telehealth isn’t entirely new to Argentina. Previously patients would use Skype or WhatsApp to consult with cardiologists, dermatologists, pediatricians and other providers. But not only did these tools fail to provide evidence-based care, they presented a security risk.

As Padinger pointed out, “The medical history can be lost or even hacked.” Fragmentation of care is another issue: “It is so atomized that if I go to a hospital, the piece of that consultation is only in that place. Only they can see it, but not other hospitals or doctors.”

GlobalMed solutions address all of these concerns – one reason we’ve always dominated the international telemedicine stage. The world-class security features in our virtual care platform eNcounter®, make it easy for providers to follow data protection and patient privacy regulations during treatment.

Our telemedicine devices are also designed to enable responsible and outcome-focused consultations for even hard-to-reach corners of South America. Our high-definition cameras, otoscopes, audiology tests, EKGs, ultrasound probes and vital signs tools can be used even in rural villages without Internet service, thanks to Store-and-Forward capabilities, while diagnostic images and data can be transmitted in real-time even with low bandwidth.

As GlobalMed’s Vice President of Business Development, Neal Schoenbach said, “We believe that GlobalMed’s eNcounter platform is going to profoundly affect all people in Argentina.”

Building a Healthier Argentina

Meditar predicts GlobalMed solutions will soon be used by one million Direct-To-Consumer patients - from medical tourists to Latin Americans in remote areas without healthcare resources. Those numbers forecast a potentially incredible transformation for all Argentine citizens.

“Whether they use the technology for a simple cold virus or a thorough medical consult requiring device data,” said Schoenbach, “having more access to care will make for a healthier Argentina.”

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