We just got back from the TechEmerge Health Innovation Summit in São Paulo, Brazil. The TechEmerge program was created by the IFC, a sister organization of the World Bank.
The TechEmerge program was created to introduce startups that can drive better healthcare outcomes in the Brazilian market to leading executives from Brazilian healthcare systems. Of a total pool of 295 applicants, 42 companies were selected for the prestigious program, ourselves included.
Brazil is the 8th largest health market in the world. Although Brazilians have a free public health system, private spending surpasses public spending, and it is one of the largest private healthcare systems in the world.
Over the 2 day conference, the startups participating met with representatives from health systems caring for over 19M patients annually.
12 of the companies were invited to speak on stage, and I had the pleasure of introducing the audience to the value of AI in genetic interpretation.
And also participated in a panel on AI in healthcare. One of the issues we discussed, which resonated with the Brazilian audience, was the fact that AI cannot be a black box in healthcare. For AI to be responsibly adopted by health organizations, care providers need to know exactly why the AI made the recommendation it did.
During the course of the event, we met with many health systems to discuss their genomic interpretation needs. We were impressed with the level of innovation and new genomics-driven care initiatives underway.
There was great interest in our platform for its automatic interpretation capabilities. A recurring pain point for in-house teams was the time it takes to interpret an exome, in some cases turnaround is a week. The value of pinpointing just a handful of mutations for geneticists and increasing lab yield without increasing headcount was very clear.
For the few labs we met who have great interpretation capabilities for known mutations, our platform’s ability to identify unknown mutations was very interesting as well.
All in all, it was a great conference and we look forward to working with our new friends in the Brazilian market. Ate a proxima!