With IDC, Gartner, WEF, and McKinsey predicting an acceleration of technologies aimed at improving consumer wellness and healthcare over the next 5 years, its no wonder a myriad of innovative biotech and healthcare startups have emerged, working on tomorrow’s breakthroughs, today.
Latin America is home to many of these firms—the following are 11 of the brightest and best regional healthcare and biotech upstarts you need to know about in 2016.
Chilean startup Diagnochip is developing solutions for improving and broadening access to healthcare, especially for the disadvantaged and/or those living in rural areas. For example, they offer kits for rapid susceptibility testing at the point of care for patients with urinary infections without requiring a sample derivation, with results available within 4 to 8 hours.
A similar Brazilian upstart called Plataforma Saúde uses mobile technologies to provide quick, accessible, and humanized healthcare to populations with limited access to primary care. The main service consists of a set of exams that identify the degree of risk for chronic noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Plataforma Saúde has named one of the 16 most innovate startups in Latin America by IDB, and has also won a Panamanian award in social innovation.
Keraderm is a Colombian biotech startup that develops collagen skin sheets grown from less than one centimeter of tissue. These are developed from a blood sample and skin taken from behind the ear of the patient. The skin regenerated through this process grows faster, is cheaper to develop, and less painful than a traditional skin graft.
Sunu.io—formerly known as Ustraap—is a Mexican developer of wearable technology that helps the blind more effectively sense their surroundings. The bracelet identifies obstructions, allowing the visually impaired wearer to point it in any direction and receive either a vibration or a buzz when objects are in their way.
Brazil-based Livox has developed an application for helping people with disabilities integrate into society. The solution provides an alternative communications method for users and can be self-configured to suit the user’s disability. Recognized by 3M for entrepreneurship and technological innovation with greater social impact, Livox is used by roughly 10,000 people with disabilities in Brazil.
Deenty is an online service that allows users find low-cost dental care. Using the platform, patients can to manage their rates and expenses based on service type and schedule appointments online.
RetiDiag has developed an early detection system for diabetic retinopathy that entails using specialized software and a new working methodology: the solution sends photos of the patient’s retina to the appropriate doctors globally for evaluation.
Using the latest 3D printing, TakeaHand develops custom prosthetic limbs adapted to the needs of each individual and use case—for example, weight lifting, bicycling, and rowing, among others.
CopperBioHealth is dedicated to creating products with antimicrobial copper, specifically, those with contaminated surfaces: hospital beds rails, metro rails, and more. Various hospitals, hotels, metro stations, and libraries are currently using the startup’s solutions.
Eat Limmo has developed a formula and process for extracting nutrients from food scraps like peels or seeds, transforming them into key ingredients for the food processing industry—ingredients that are nutritious, functional, and inexpensively produced. The solution improves the texture, flavor, and shelf life of foods without changing the smell or flavor.
Through extensive research and interviews with the visually impaired, AnnuitWalk is developing smart glasses to solve mobility problems that people with visual disabilities face—specifically, in avoiding upper-body obstacles.
Latin America continues forge new paths when it comes to innovating for the greater good; from 3d-printed custom prosthetic limbs to wearable technologies for the blind, these 11 tech startups are ensuring that solutions for improving the quality of life are more affordable and accessible by all.