Well, it is our partner techtools ventures calling. What do they have in mind this time?, wondered Thomas Grandell, CEO of Etsimo Healthcare, in April 2020.
Soon he would learn that the startup would expand its business to Brazil at a fast pace, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
There was a great need for Etsimo’s and techtools ventures’ mobile health and telehealth services in Minas Gerais, a state with over 20 million inhabitants in Brazil. At the core is a mobile application, which is powered with Etsimo’s technology platform, the diagnosis engine.
Never say never as anything can happen. Telehealth used to be prohibited in Brazil, but Covid-19 changed this overnight.
Based on the patient’s symptoms, pre-existing conditions and basic information, the app makes a diagnosis and estimates the need for treatment. If there is a need, the patient gets a list of doctors to choose from and a virtual consultation with a doctor will follow.
“Never say never as anything can happen. Our relationship with techtools ventures was established during an export trip organized by Business Finland to Brazil in 2018. At that time telehealth was prohibited in the country, but Covid-19 changed this overnight,” says Grandell.
The need for healthcare is bigger than ever as Brazil has been hit badly by Covid-19.
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To make the app suitable for Brazil was not that tough a thing as Etsimo’s cloud-based system has been built for global markets from the beginning. The whole process took only six weeks.
To serve a new market, Etsimo has to make sure all common diseases are supported and have the correct prevalence, and translate the content to the languages of the target market. Etsimo also has to verify that the solution complies to local regulations.
To make the app suitable for Brazil was not tough – the process took only six weeks.
So for Brazil, Etsimo added data of eight typical diseases such as Dengue fever to the healthcare solution, and for Covid-19, the company used official advice of Brazil. Etsimo translated all information to Portuguese, and applied and was granted the national medical device certification, ANVISA.
“It is important to take the country into consideration to avoid diagnostic errors. Now the app in Brazil contains altogether 755 diseases and 102 disease groups,” explains Grandell.