Incomplete medical records, delayed lab test results, lost patient information, paper-based data and unstructured data in a digital database... Mismanagement of medical information can cost lives. Structuring, digitizing and encrypting all this data would increase the efficiency of doctors' offices and healthcare systems.
After years working in Venezuela's information technology sector, young innovator Luis Santiago became aware of this lack of standardization in healthcare information throughout Latin America. He also discovered that clinical data could be leveraged using artificial intelligence. This resulted in the creation of PEGASI, a start-up that increases the accessibility, clarity and security of healthcare information. For this development, Santiago has been made one of MIT Technology Review in Spanish's Innovators Under 35 Latin America 2020.
This portable doctors' office intelligently manages and aggregates patient information, such as medical history, lab results and invoices, on a single platform that is available to both the patient and the healthcare staff. It also allows the doctor to schedule operations, contact other specialists and conduct teleconsultations with users.
The healthcare professional's statistics are available online or offline both on their smartphone and computer. In this way, the project also reduces paper and electricity costs, the need for retesting, and patient care time, while also improving patient care. It also enables lower insurance costs for users. "We believe that with PEGASI, doctors and patients can be better off and the healthcare industry can be more efficient and transparent," says Santiago.
By grouping, standardizing and structuring all clinical data, anonymized and encrypted big data is generated. The analysis of patients' big data makes it possible to make better public health decisions by having anonymized and grouped health information on a large part of the population just a click away. "Paper-based clinical records prevent epidemics from being managed in real time," explains Santiago. With the digitization of the information provided by PEGASI, it is easier "to carry out research in real time to create new drugs," he points out.
To avoid any technical or privacy issues, PEGASI helps doctors "to make this transition easily and to keep patient information confidential." The system is already being used to manage the data of some 37,000 people, but the innovator hopes to maximize its impact in Latin America and extend the initiative to other developing countries.
Lorena Pedraza, a professor from the Department of Chemical Sciences and Engineering at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico and member of the Innovators under 35 Latin America 2020 jury, believes that the interest in Santiago's creation lies "in the fact that it can make patient management more efficient and reduce risks for them."