Health Care Disparity in Latin America
March 24, 2016

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The Pandora CDx

The Problem:

According to a recent Mckinsy report, “The Healthcare landscape in Latin America is changing quickly. Demand is growing as populations age and chronic diseases become commonplace. Increasing wealth in some demographic segments drives a desire for higher quality services. Governments are increasing spending”. The report further highlights, “Reasonable wait times are critical to a quality healthcare system, both from patient and system point-of-views. Without them, patients are either deterred from seeking care or, when they do, they suffer increased pain, disease complications and incapacitation. Furthermore, in the scenario of long wait time, patients also often suffer increased cost as they resort to out-of pocket spending in order to obtain basic treatment. For the system overall long wait times are a burden; total treatment costs are ultimately higher as patients are in a more serious state once they are finally treated”. The report points out further for a middle income country, and particularly one with a universal system, Brazil has high levels of out-of-pocket spending. For the lowest 40% of the population, almost three quarters of that cost is healthcare.  Hence the govt. has created Farmacia Popular to address this issue. However, this is increasing the govt. expense on healthcare.

POC Medical Systems Solution:

POC has created a connected but distributed point of care diagnostics systems which could help address some of the problem listed above as follows:


No Healthcare due to lack of infrastructure, lack of trained personal / doctors etc. and high costs ·       POC Medical Systems Pandora CDx is a compact (5”X5”X5” – CD / DVD player size) lab in a box which can allow for lab testing using blood to be done in any place at any time with minimal training·       It is connected to the internet using Cellphone connectivity, allowing for this data to be viewed by a Physician anywhere in the globe or a central hospital to recommend a treatment and hence local physicians may not be required, instead consultation can be provided using the cellphone or webex / conferencing facilities·       Real time diagnosis which allows for possible prevention or early detection which means lower mortality rates and cheaper treatment
No Healthcare due to economic considerations ·       People avoid getting healthcare due to high cost of diagnostics and treatment due to late discovery of a disease.·       Time required to diagnose etc which means not able to work and hence not able to feed family due to loss of wages which implies higher burden to the govt.
High cost of Diagnostics and hence treatment ·       Limited amount of funds which instead of being used for developing jobs or other infrastructure etc are used to provide health care at a much higher cost.·       Average cost of diagnostics is about $100 per patient for the govt. and then treatment cost etc. by having local infrastructure etc. POC solution can dramatically reduce cost by atleast 10fold for diagnostic an hence total healthcare cost.
Breast cancer incidence:·       Less than 5% of women (100000000) are screened for Breast cancer in Latin / South American countries today·       Based on the 5% screen it is found that 115000 women have breast cancer which could be dramatically higher if in fact all the women over age of 40 are screened·       40,000 women die of Breast cancer annually i.e. 1/3rd of the women diagnosed (a preventable death) ·       Burden to society is high since if all the 100 million women were to be screened, i.e. cost of screening at cost of mammography of $100 per patient, cost would be $10Billion. False positive average about 2 per image which is an additional cost in Biopsies which is another $10Billion approximately and then untold cost due to deaths.·       Instead Cost using Pandora CDx for screening with a 91% sensitivity for all 100million women would run about $300million with minimal false positives and hence lower healthcare cost and save millions of lives.


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