Latin America is undergoing dramatic demographic and epidemiological changes. Its population is rapidly aging, and there is a worrisome increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases. Despite this, innovative medical technologies sometimes take years to reach these patients. US and European Medical technology ("Medtech") companies struggle to find a cost-effective first-in-human clinical research center or to gain market share in Latin America; this prevents patients in Latin America from having faster and easier access to innovative and breakthrough medical technologies.We realized that a) the majority of US and European small and mid-size Medtech companies fail in their attempt to enter Latin America; b) that these companies have no source of quality, reliable, and actionable information on how to reach the right patients in the region, c) that these companies have a hard time finding an expert to guide them to succeed in the region. As a consequence, patients in Latin America have delayed access to breakthrough and innovative medical technologies. We decided to create this podcast to fix these problems by becoming part of the solution to accelerate the penetration of breakthrough medical innovations in Latin America.
Widy Medina, CEO & Co-Founder at Telebionix
Widy is the Co-Founder and CEO of two technology companies with vast experience ranging from robotics, product design, fabrication, and automation to the electronic assembly of consumer products, food and beverage tech, biotech, medical devices, and pharmaceutical industries. Widy spent 40+ years living in Puerto Rico, and 20+ supporting pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies with a presence in multiple Latin American locations. He led an automation firm that exposed him to FDA regulations, manufacturing, and compliance during that time. Today, he leads a medical device company with a unique RPM product to capture biomarkers and allow those to be maintained in a safe digital format for exchange with healthcare professionals or as a personal health tracking system.
Mauricio Berdugo, Director of Medical Affairs at Humacyte
Mauricio A. Berdugo, MD, MPH, is currently the Director of Medical Affairs at Humacyte, Inc. Mauricio has worked in different capacities within the CRO, pharma, diagnostics, and biotech industries in the USA and globally, including Latin America, Europe, and Asia over the past 9 years. His clinical and academic research stems from HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, renal disease, and orthopedic spine surgery. Mauricio graduated from medical school at the Universidad Evangelica de El Salvador, completed his Master of Public Health degree from Kaplan University, and he is currently pursuing a Fellowship with the American College of Healthcare Executives.
James Reinstein, President & Chief Executive Officer at Conformal Medical
James has more than 25 years of medical device experience and is currently the CEO of Conformal Medical. Prior to joining Conformal, he led Saranas and private companies such as Drawbridge Health, and Aptus Endosystems as their President, CEO, and member of the board of directors. He held a similar role at the publicly traded medical laser company, Cutera from 2017 to 2019. He was part of the management team that led the turn-around at Cyberonics where he was the EVP & Chief Commercial Officer. James spent 17 years at Boston Scientific in various roles and functions including business development, marketing, and general management. Most of his career at Boston Scientific was spent working and living in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Additionally, Mr. Reinstein has served as a board director for several medical companies, including publicly traded Mainstay Medical in Dublin, Ireland, Pixium-Vision based in Paris, France, and Monteris Medical a privately held company located in Minnesota. James began his professional career with Proctor & Gamble after earning his Bachelor of Arts in Marketing (BA) degree from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia in Athens. He also completed graduate studies at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.
Gabriel Garza, Co-founder & Managing Director at DocTour
Gabriel Alejandro Garza Caro is Co-founder & Managing Director at DocTour who works with international travelers and tourists to solve their health problems during their travel. With innovation in tech & processes, a completely new hybrid model has been created to attend to all travelers’ medical needs. Gabriel believes that empowerment, teamwork, strategic planning, and communication are key fundamentals for startups to develop in order to establish early, the way to success in today’s health tech environment. Gabriel is trained in Business Process Management and in Project and Portfolio Management as a Project Management Officer. For Gabriel, the most rewarding part of his role is the ability to innovate and think out of the box to solve everyday business and market challenges.
Prior to working at DocTour, Gabriel began as a Business Process Consultant and Project Manager at CEMEX, where he collaborated to map, design, and create the new CEMEX’s processes, system, and software and implement it in some European countries and in México. Gabriel holds a University Degree in International Commerce from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) in México and a Master's Degree in Economics and Society and Master's Degree in Economics of Territorial Development from the Université Toulouse Capitole in France.
Tomás Iglesias, CEO at Zubia
Tomás Iglesias is a medical doctor/master in hospital administration/Front-end developer. Tomás is the CEO of Zubia, LATAM's largest digital health marketplace a platform that connects digital health platforms with users that need their services. Currently in 25 countries with more than 400,000 visitors in 10 months from launch, and the co-founder and leader of HealthX, Mexico's largest health-tech community. Tomás is highly passionate about helping others and connecting health with technology.
In 2020, created LATAM's most used COVID-19 suspected case self-assessment platform, reaching 194 countries, 24 million users, and generation 2,500 telemedicine consultations per day.
Ethan Russo, CEO at CannabisResearch.org & Nishi Whiteley, Chief Operating Officer at CReDO
Dr. Ethan Russo and Nishi Whiteley have worked together for almost 10 years in efforts to:
improve the scientific understanding of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and how the cannabis plant modulates itassist small and large cannabis companies in product formulationadvise companies on cannabis genetics enhancementsconsult on pre-clinical and clinical research design.“We share a vision of making cannabis better and safer believing in a future in which knowledge of the endocannabinoid system and its therapeutic modulation via the cannabis plant will result in superior highly individualized medicines, aids to wellness, enhanced lifestyles, and novel non-toxic industrial products”.
Ethan Russo, MD, is a board-certified neurologist, psychopharmacology researcher, and author. He is the Founder and CEO of CannabisResearch.org. Previously, he was Director of Research and Development at the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI) based in Prague, Czech Republic. Medical Director of PHYTECS (2015-2017), a biotechnology company researching and developing innovative approaches targeting the human endocannabinoid system, and from 2003-2014, he served as Senior Medical Advisor, medical monitor, and study physician to GW Pharmaceuticals, United Kingdom for numerous Phase I-III clinical trials of Sativex® for alleviation of cancer pain unresponsive to optimized opioid treatment and initial studies of Epidiolex® for intractable epilepsy.
Nishi Whiteley (pronounced Nee-sha), is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at CReDO. She has twenty-five-plus years of international business development experience in cannabis, agriculture, wellness, green energy, and food industries. She has had leadership roles on projects in corporate America and for the US Foreign Ag Service in over 10 countries, in startups, a state agency, and non-profits; as well as worked for foreign governments and met with international leaders in Cuba, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic to open trade and advance development programs. She has worked on investment projects in 8 countries.
Wow what a listen. This really gave me a further insight on the medical device business, cant wait for the next episode!