On Thursday 12 August 2021, we successfully launched our new official Global Telehealth Exchange Distributor for Latin America, Salud Blockchain. Salud Blockchain is a company focused on serving health care providers through products and services, with state-of-the-art technology that supports them to be more effective in the practice of healthcare, by being able to provide better care to their patients and help them achieve a better quality of life.
The in-person event took place in Bogota, Colombia, with Solve.Care CEO Pradeep Goel telecasting in live from Kiev, Ukraine. For those who were unable to attend the event, we have the translated transcript for you to read below!
Honored guests, members of the media, ladies, and gentlemen, a warm welcome to all of you to this great launch event of Salud Blockchain as official distributor of Global Telehealth Exchange. Today it’s a truly global event! We have the pleasure of having Pradeep Goel with us, CEO of Solve.Care, the company behind Global Telehealth Exchange. At this moment he is currently in Kiev, Ukraine. We know that there is media present right now from the US, Europe, Asia, and our continent. So, it is thanks to technology—to this “Interpretation” option—we can be connected from different geographical regions, different time zones, all interconnected with the same purpose. Thank you so much everyone for being here! My name is Daniela Bernal, and I’m the Chief Operations Officer of Salud Blockchain. It is an honor for me to be your host for today! So, before we start, we will explain what exactly Global Telehealth Exchange is, or as its English acronym, GTHE, means. GTHE is a revolutionary advancement in technology that will change the way we access healthcare and medical services worldwide. It’s the first telehealth global network that crosses frontiers. And these frontiers are broken down so we can reach many people. This means that with GTHE, physicians and healthcare providers can connect to their patients instantly. GTHE is so much more! This is simply an introduction so that we may know what this event is all about, and that we grasp the marvels of this technology that will transform the future of healthcare! Before we begin and get down to business, which is to dig deeper into the greatness of this technology, I have the pleasure of introducing a doctor. It is a privilege that she can be here with us sharing her testimony as a healthcare professional. She will share with us what her experience was during COVID in 2020—all the COVID-19 process of meeting patients online, teleconsultations, telehealth—her testimony will tell us. Because— and these are her words—why she considers that health and technology are the perfect combination, especially now. She is a passionate woman in what she does. We will give a great virtual applause to Dr. Catalina Ortiz. Catalina the room is yours.
Dr. Catalina Ortiz’s Testimony
Good afternoon! Thank you so much Daniela for the invitation and for that beautiful introduction you gave me! Above all, I want to thank all the people around the world who are part of the GTHE team, as I’ve been getting involved in this. I want to especially thank the Salud Blockchain team, as well as those who are making this possible—the opening of GTHE for the Latin American market. Technology and health complement each other amazingly, and it is very important that people who are independent healthcare providers have the possibility to connect to a community, to an ecosystem and a technological platform that allows us to break down a number of barriers that we were facing a while ago.
Even though technology is advancing, the COVID pandemic that we have experienced in recent months has accelerated that process and we are realizing that telehealth or teleconsultation—however we may call it—though not new, has become an incredible tool for those who provide health services, guidance, and therapy because it’s not only so that doctors can have the possibility of breaking geographical barriers, but that we can continue to contribute to our mission as well, of bringing health, prevention and therapy to all corners of the world. Telehealth has had certain challenges. In the past, it has been a tool that was seldom used. However, these communication and information technologies, the Internet-of-Things, and the fourth industrial revolution are allowing us to have the birth of a new great way of practicing medicine and managing well-being. This, we have certainly realized at this time of health disruption, not just physical, but mental, and emotional.
We have come to realize that it is important that there be that connection between people who have the knowledge, training and experience, and people who require those services around the world. By joining a community and an ecosystem where there exists the possibility of having a commercial showcase, to be able to choose from an array of possibilities, a range of specialties, and that people can look for with the requirements they need, is certainly amazing.
We’re going to have the possibility of not just having a technological ecosystem where we can interact and providers can guide and care for our patients in real time, but also reduces administrative burdens that so often holds back many independent practitioners.
Having payment solutions that anyone in the world can contact a provider they need is very important. This is something we have been pondering about: fortunately, or unfortunately, those who have been trained mainly in the health and welfare sector, we’ve been trained very well professionally in our gifts, in our expertise, but were not taught to be entrepreneurs, or become independent.
So, marketing ourselves, being able to reach more people around the world, has not been our strength, and now with what GTHE and Salud Blockchain is proposing to us as the technology distributor, this is going to allow us to do that marketing work in a smart way, and the best way to do that is with our voices, through recommendation, and creating a community around the world that has the ability to access these services.
So, the invitation is that all people who have vocational training, not only in medicine but in all associated areas of health and well-being, to take action and start building this community! Let’s really begin to expand our mission and our purpose of serving and providing health around the world. Thank you, Daniela.
Thank you Dr. Catalina for sharing with us your experiences.
To give you an idea of what physicians have to look forward to when practicing medicine on GTHE, here is a short video.
Q&A Session with Pradeep Goel & Felix Lopera
Ladies & gentlemen, the moment you have been waiting for has now arrived. I would like to invite Mr. Felix Lopera, CEO of Salud Blockchain, up to the table to join me. And joining us all the way from Kiev, Ukraine, is Mr Pradeep Goel, CEO of Solve.Care, the company behind Global Telehealth Exchange.
I would also like to introduce you to Ms. Sandra Casallas, an experienced professional from the media industry to moderate the discussion, and to find out more about GTHE and the plans for Latin America.
I’m so happy to be in this important event, where we’ll learn more about healthcare globally. Thank you. Now Pradeep, I would like for you to sell me on the product, and how will it revolutionize healthcare?
Hello, Sandra. Hello, Felix. It is a pleasure to be here. And it’s good to see you both. First time very excited to see this event. It’s quite an effort by many of you to put this together. I know that teams are collaborating across continents and across languages. And it is quite an effort to put this kind of a multi-language, multi-continent event. So, thank you everyone for pulling this together. And hello, Felix. I hope you’re doing well. I know you’ve been working very hard. I look forward to this session together.
Sandra, as far as your question about Global Telehealth Exchange and what we are trying to do with it—we will cover that in detail—but I think the main thing I want to share is that Latin America is home to more than 600 million people. And it is an area where there are dozens and dozens of different languages spoken. There’s a wide range of geography, a wide range of economic and social variants. But one thing that is really common across every part of the world is that we all need healthcare. We all need healthcare for ourselves and for our children. And what is really critical is that there are many barriers to healthcare in every part of the world. And sometimes a barrier is a doctor is too far away. Sometimes the wait is too long. Sometimes the cost is too high. And the combination of those barriers results in people not getting the care that they need. And our goal here in Latin America is to improve access to care. And we are delighted to be partnered with Salud Blockchain to improve access to care for every human being who lives in Latin America, whether it’s physician or patient.
I’m very excited to be here with you all today and for this great event. Now, one of the questions you asked was, what is GTHE trying to do? So first a little bit about Solve.Care. Solve.Care is a blockchain platform, which is built on the idea that we can make healthcare work better in every part of the world. And that this platform can bring digital health solutions to every community around the world. And Global Telehealth Exchange is a network built on this platform to do exactly that, to improve access to care.
What we are trying to do here through Global Telehealth Exchange is to bring a secure, open, globally accessible network of doctors together, of the kind that no one has ever put together before. And make it open to every patient on the planet, no matter where they live. Your health and your wellness and the well-being of your family should not be defined by your zip code, where you live. Healthcare should be accessible to you, whether you live in the Andes Mountains, or you live on the beach in Rio de Janeiro. Your healthcare should be of the same quality, whether you are rich or poor, whether you are highly educated, or whether you only went to high school or not. Our wellness should not be determined by these factors today, in whether you will have a healthy life or not.
We are trying to change that equation by improving access to care. Around the world, there are many narrow supply networks where patients can only see certain doctors. And our goal is to create a global supply of physicians, where a physician can see any patient, and to do so in a secure manner, to do it in a compliant manner, and to do it where everyone knows what everybody else is doing. That’s the purpose of blockchain.
We’re very excited to bring Global Telehealth Exchange to Latin America in partnership with Felix, and his organization, Salud Blockchain.
Thank you for that. I would like to point out that the global strategy to expand GTHE through the world is by having local partners. Tell us what Salud Blockchain will be able to provide to Latin Americans?
Your question is why is Global Telehealth Exchange going to bring value to Latin America. And I would certainly invite Felix to speak about this. From my point of view, Solve.Care platform and Global Telehealth Exchange will serve every part of the world. But Latin America is a very exciting place for us to bring this solution because there is such opportunity to improve care. There are certain factors about Latin America that make it unique. One of three people are young adults or younger than young adults, so it’s a young population; it’s a mobile population. The number of physicians per 1000 patients is less in Latin America than we see in other countries, which means there is a need to make physicians more accessible. And most importantly, we see a real opportunity for us to take the supply of physicians in Latin America, and equalize it across all countries; meaning, whether the physician is in Colombia, or in Peru, or in Chile, the patient in Brazil should be able to access them, and vice versa.
We are very excited about the fact that Latin America is one of those continents, which is very diverse and yet at the same time, bound by common culture and common principles and we can leverage that commonality while serving a very diverse population, and Global Telehealth Exchange is designed to do that. And last but not the least; Salud Blockchain, the way the company is set up, what its mission is—to engage providers across all of Latin America, from Mexico to Argentina. That mission gives them the ability to communicate with physicians across all the vast continent that Latin America is, but at the same time, provide health care locally. So Salud’s mission of being a continent-wide distribution channel gives us the ability to really make healthcare better. So, I will invite Felix to comment on this, but I think that the combination of Global Telehealth Exchange and Salud Blockchain’s distribution model is what makes this very exciting.
Good afternoon and good evening to everyone! Thank you Pradeep and thank you Sandra, it’s a real pleasure to be here. As Pradeep was saying, we’ve worked hard because we have had this vision for a long time of bringing Global Telehealth Exchange to Latin America because of its technology, the vision Pradeep had since the beginning, and the vision of Solve.Care as a company, which are very important to the whole world. To us it wasn’t foreign to be a part of it all. Thank you for making this possible! So, what happened is that we realized Latin America has a healthcare system that isn’t as efficient as we would like it to be. But what we do have are excellent physicians in all parts of Latin America, and these physicians need and want, as Dr. Catalina said, to be able to work along with technology, and to access as many people as possible.
There is a great advantage in Latin America, and it is that the internet penetration is above the world average. This means that a good number of people are connected to the internet and can access the internet which makes it easier for us to make use of telehealth, and in this particular case—with GTHE namely—because there may not be a healthcare center nearby, but there is internet access in most cases. This is very important. Our proposal with Salud Blockchain is to make access of GTHE in this market faster, so people can easily access the network and that healthcare providers can make use of this technology to improve their practice in terms of time efficiency. To not have so many administrative burdens, as Dr. Catalina said, and also to reduce operational costs because it will no longer be mandatory to have an office with an assistant. All this by using technology in our favor. This is extremely important!
We’re beginning to work strongly with all healthcare providers through a very important strategy called word of mouth. To be able to support each other as a service network, by employing Network Marketing, to be precise. And have that advantage of word of mouth, to connect healthcare providers with each other for mutual benefit and support. And for users as well. Because there are a lot of people that don’t know what is happening in technology, they don’t know about the ease of use with technology, even less so in the healthcare industry. That is why this is so important. So, it is this combination of technology and the great capacity of healthcare providers on one side, and the non-assistance of government healthcare systems on the other that is so relevant and makes the entrance of GTHE through Salud Blockchain a very important event for healthcare providers in Latin America.
We have spoken from the perspective of service providers and doctors. But we, and everyone connected at this moment, would like to know also from the perspective of the patient. Now from this approach, how would the service improve the current situation for patients?
This question is very important because here is a great thing, to access Global Telehealth Exchange, there is an app you can download, like you do with any other app on Android or iOS devices, called Care.Wallet. Through this app, all users and patients, as you have just said, can access a world of healthcare providers that are in the Global Telehealth Exchange, and that every day more will be registering thanks to word of mouth, to this community of healthcare providers that will join. And from the patient’s side, they will be able to see many interesting things, Sandra. They will be able to find the physicians (healthcare providers) and the specialty they need. They will be able to choose the type of appointment in terms of time. We know that very often we go to a doctor and in 10-15 mins it is done, we didn’t need more time. The doctor at the same time can choose the kinds of appointments that he/she will provide in terms of time 15 – 20 – 30- 40 mins/ 1 hour; he/ she can even leave open (undefined) – the time of the appointments. And the patient, by entering the app, chooses the healthcare provider; chooses the area of specialty if necessary, or simply chooses general medicine (no problem with that). The patient chooses the amount of time needed for consulting as well as the cost (the doctor puts the cost for each appointment time).
Once the patient chooses the appointment and its cost; they pay through the app. There is something very important here, and that is the world of Blockchain and the world of digital currencies. GTHE and Solve.Care have a token, called SOLVE, that is proprietary to the system. The patient’s payment will be retained by the company in a trusteeship until the appointment is performed, then the money is placed in the doctor’s/ healthcare provider’s bank account.
Both patients and healthcare providers will be assured that they will meet at the time frame chosen by the patient that the doctor set up. When the service is performed, the service has a lot of great characteristics because as we mentioned that both the application and the system will allow the healthcare provider to have less administrative tasks. They will be able to load the patient’s medical records, that is, all of the clinical history; and the doctor will be able to follow-up and prescribe; they will be able to make sure the e-prescription was understood by the patient. They will be able to follow how each patient is doing everyday; and there are many more things that they will be able to access in time to come.
For someone who would like to know more about the technology behind GTHE what can you tell us?
I think this question is for me, Sandra. In terms of the technology, I think that the fundamental question is what we can do for the patient and the doctor. Since we are going to operate GTHE on a global basis, the first thing is about data security and privacy of both the patient and the doctor’s data.
The number one thing that we did with the Global Telehealth Exchange is to make sure that both sides are protected—the doctor and the patient, so they’re the only two parties that actually matter. So that’s the real purpose of blockchain—security of data, control over data by the people who own the data.
The second thing that blockchain allows us to do is to run the network worldwide, and to do so in a safe manner. Because to run a global system with lots of copies around the world is risky, so blockchain lets us run a global network with local control, in terms of who joins, when they join, and how they use it.
The third reason for using blockchain is that you can do payments real time on the blockchain. You don’t need to open bank accounts. You can transfer payments from anywhere in the world, to the doctor, wherever they are. This makes it possible to have a global network of doctors available to patients worldwide, because you have to be able to pay the doctor.
The fourth reason for using blockchain is auditability. Everything in healthcare requires regulatory compliance. So, you have to audit, you have to make sure that things happened or didn’t happen, and blockchain gives you that global auditability.
The fifth reason is to protect the privacy of the patient and the doctor. The identity of the doctor and the patient on the blockchain is revealed when patient and doctor connect with each other, but their identity on the blockchain is just a number, which protects them.
And then finally, the way Solve.Care has used blockchain, we have allowed it to be usable and accessible by patients and doctors. You don’t need to learn blockchain to use blockchain. You don’t need to know how a car is manufactured to get in the car and drive it. We have made it easy for everyone to access the chain through the Care.Wallet, which is another mobile application that everybody’s familiar with on their phones. So now you can access healthcare safely from anywhere in the world just by downloading the Care.Wallet and using it. And my mom doesn’t care that it’s built on blockchain, but she needs to know that it’s safe. That safety, that confidence, that trust that the patient needs to have in the system is why we use blockchain.
We want to know how you are improving access to healthcare for doctors and patients. And examples of the benefits.
So before we partnered with Salud to launch Global Telehealth Exchange in Latin America, and Salud is responsible for Global Telehealth Exchange from Mexico to Argentina, and everyone in between. Prior to that, we launched Global Telehealth Exchange in 20 other countries, a little bit more than 20 countries. With the idea of making sure that we have physicians in as many countries as possible.
Through that experience, we learned what physicians and patients really want. And what we learned is that physicians and patients want immediate availability. What is most important to the patient is that they can find a doctor when they need the doctor, not three days later, not three weeks later. And what’s really interesting is that even in the best healthcare system—Scandinavia or Switzerland, US, Canada, they’re really expensive healthcare systems—the average time to get a doctor’s appointment is over a day. 25% of the time you could wait longer than a day. If you want to see a specialist, you could wait a month. 60% of the time when you want to see a specialist, you may wait longer than a month. We are trying to change that game to bring it down to 15 minutes. Our goal is that when you need to see a doctor, you should find a qualified doctor and speak with them in the next 15 minutes. Because when you need health care, you need it now.
Healthcare is not like buying a sweater, that you can buy it tomorrow. You have to have it on a timely basis. Think about it. You know nobody thought that you needed Uber till you got Uber, then you said, “Why do I have to wait for a taxi? I need one right now. It should arrive in four minutes.” And we all got used to the idea that if it takes 12 minutes to wait for Uber, we all get upset, “What? I’m waiting for 12 minutes to see a driver?” Remember before that you had to call the taxi company and schedule them; they might say two hours, or they may never show up. You never knew when they would come and he never knew if they would come. And now you’re expecting four-minute rides. And if it’s not in four— if it’s eight minutes, we’re getting upset.
We are trying to bring that same model of expectation: you should not wait a month to see a doctor. And I remember a time not long ago, when my son needed to see a neurologist, and we waited seven months, in the United States, with the best health insurance, we waited seven months to see a neurologist. That will not happen again with GTHE. This is why we are doing this, and I really think that Latin America—where access isn’t so easy because of geography, because of language, because the doctors outside urban areas are very, very difficult to find—we can change the way humanity accesses healthcare in places like Asia, Africa, most definitely Latin America.
We are extremely excited about the mission that Salud has taken, of adopting GTHE across all of Latin America, and we think this is going to have a positive impact on humanity in a manner far more significant than a ride-sharing company. But the idea is the same.
Felix, would you like to add something?
Yeah sure Sandra, and thank you Pradeep! Look, it’s very simple! Right now, we have everything organized so that if you’re a doctor or healthcare provider, you contact us by entering our website, choose the ” I’m a Healthcare Provider option”, fill the form, and we will contact you so that a support person guides you and helps you register and enter the network. If you are a patient, a user; as all of us will be at some point, because healthcare affects us from birth till death; that is all of us as humans will be patients/ users; register on our website and we will guide you in downloading the Care.Wallet app from an Android or iOS with no issues. So basically Sandra, it is very important we start spreading the word, telling our doctors and healthcare providers, friends and family, so we adopt this system that as Pradeep said with Uber’s example; Today it may seem very strange to think about this, but in a couple of years it will be very common and many people, our family and close relatives will benefit from this. Thank you!
Thank you to all of you. I would like for you to give the final comments to everyone that is connected at this moment. And we appreciate all of you who participated in this official launch of Salud Blockchain as the official distributor of GTHE in Latin America.
From my perspective, first, I would like to say that, we’ve been working with Salud Blockchain, with Felix and Daniela, and the team for more than a year. Salud took a lot of planning, a lot of thinking and analyzing. I met with Felix in early 2020 or mid-2020, when we started the Global Telehealth Exchange project, to say when we are ready, we need to bring it to Latin America. This is not something we just thought of in the last few days. This has been going on for well over a year throughout the pandemic. And the pandemic told us that what we are doing is absolutely correct. Because it became clear that healthcare access became the number one issue in the pandemic. Access to physicians became a real life-changing decision. So, we’ve been working on this for a while.
Now, the most exciting thing about Salud from my point of view is the distribution model, where Salud is educating doctors to then go find other doctors who then go find other doctors—that network effect that Salud has already started developing in Latin America. That network of physicians finding physicians who then find other physicians means that we can enroll a big number of the 1.4 million physicians in Latin America. There are 1.4-plus million physicians in the 20-plus countries where Salud is authorized to go bring physicians to enroll them into Global Telehealth Exchange. And I believe that Salud’s philosophy and approach of physicians finding physicians and then supporting each other—not just finding them but supporting each other—and using GTHE to the benefit of the patient will really change the game, not just for the patient, but for the doctors.
One other thing that I will bring to your attention, we are creating new revenue for the doctor. There is a lot of need of healthcare that is not being met. These are people who don’t go to see the doctor because they can’t find one when they need one. So, there is an enormous unmet need. At least 25% of the population deems itself as not being able to access healthcare, which means that there are billions of dollars of revenue that the physicians can get through Global Telehealth Exchange that they don’t get today.
We’re not just talking about making the physician more effective; we’re talking about making healthcare more effective and bringing healthcare to more people on a more frequent basis. We are projecting that we will add or create new revenue for physicians, that in the next three years, we will generate new revenue for physicians to the tune of $2 billion. And over the next five years, we are projecting we will generate new revenue that will be over $5 billion, and in the next seven years, something like $10 billion of new revenue. Revenue they don’t have today. And this is the revenue from matching the patient and the doctor, right? And this is not taking revenue from someone else that they already have, but rather bringing new revenue by serving the unserved population, the unmet appointment. This is very exciting. And this unmet need is very high in Asia, in Latin America, in Africa—continents where we are very focused right now.
So again, I believe we are doing humanity service, but more, we are bringing to this population enormous value—to the doctors and the patients—and generating billions in revenue that doesn’t exist today. Again, I will use Uber as an example. A lot of people never thought of becoming a day driver before Uber came. Nobody thought of it as a gig economy where you could make money and feed your kids. But then, so many people realized that Uber can be a second or first profession.
We are here to help the doctors be more effective, see more patients, make more money, but ultimately deliver more care. So, in light of that, I want to recognize that Salud’s innovation is already groundbreaking. And we took the liberty of sending Salud leadership, a small memento, which I would like Daniela to give Felix because his leadership, his thought process behind coming up with the networking idea is why we are incredibly excited and absolutely certain of the success that lies ahead. I’ll turn it over to Daniela to present a small recognition plaque from our side to Felix.
Felix, this is from the Solve.Care team to officially appoint you as the official distributor of Global Telehealth Exchange in Latin America. And we are very excited with your vision for the network-based expansion of GTHE, and your vision to have thousands and thousands of physicians join this network and to improve their and their patients’ lives. So, thank you and welcome to this relationship.
Thank you, Pradeep, this is truly an honor for us. It is a privilege, and we’re really happy to have your trust, and we take this challenge in our hearts knowing that our mission is to bring care faster and with better results to all corners in Latin America. Also to use what you were talking about— a collaborative economy, making this a win-win for all of us. I want to thank especially your team at Solve.Care. With GTHE, you have done an incredible job. I want to thank our team in Colombia who have done an incredible job helping set up all of this. You’ve said it, it’s taken us almost a year. Nothing has been done by chance. We’ve been very careful because we know the challenge we have is significant—of taking the opportunity to bring this to the whole world, in partnership with GTHE and Solve.Care. This is very important for all of us. Thank you very much for this recognition. This is just the beginning. Thank you everyone! An invitation is for everyone to spread the word because this is a win-win that our family and friends will be thankful for today. Thank you so much!
It is my pleasure, Felix, and we are delighted to have Salud represent GTHE across this very important region.
Thank you so much Pradeep, Felix, Sandra. All of you know that we are here, and we are going to spread the word so that a lot of people can get access to this. We are really excited about beating the market and knowing that it’s going to keep growing to get better at healthcare, improving the quality. We have to thank all of the media for attending. I hope you have had a good time and better understanding of GTHE. Thank you all so much for coming.