The Latin America Health Tech 50 is HolonIQ’s annual list of the most promising startups from across digital health, biotech, medtech and other areas where entrepreneurs are driving healthcare innovation.
LATAM’s Health Tech ecosystem was catalyzed by the Covid-19 crisis but has since cooled in line with global funding markets and the return of traditional healthcare service delivery. Nevertheless the region remains a significant opportunity for startups pushing new and innovative models of care. Low levels of spending and productivity challenges across LATAM health systems are driving a vibrant market for out of pocket health spend and this is providing opportunities for innovators. The region’s globally high levels of non-communicable diseases is also creating market demand for chronic disease management and businesses focused on Prevention and patient engagement.
LATAM’s emerging Health Tech startup ecosystem has been hit by global slowdown but evidence of real traction for many firms
The 2023 LATAM Health Tech 50 is mapped to the HolonIQ Global Healthcare Landscape, an open-source taxonomy for the future of health and wellness. HolonIQ’s system of classification provides an immediate snapshot of the startup activity across the region and allows us to understand the strengths of the health ecosystem. The 2023 LATAM Health Tech 50 has been mapped to the taxonomy’s ‘clusters’, enabling us to better understand where investment and innovation is focused in the region. The LATAM health investment market has suffered from falling valuations and reduced investment activity but a range of startups have still been able to raise considerable amounts, including Sami (online health insurance); Clivi (diabetes management platform); Mamotest (diagnostic technology); Plenna (Hybrid FemTech platform) and Genial Care (specialist autism care).
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LATAM Health Tech startups are mainly focused on service provision with over 50% of the 2023 cohort in Prevention, Diagnosis or Treatment
Latin America lags behind North America in areas such as Research, Hardware and Supply Chain but its focus on new models of service delivery is leading to interesting businesses across Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment. With just a small percentage of LATAM covered by private health insurance and public health systems under considerable pressure there are opportunities for direct service delivery plays. A legacy of the pandemic is a greater focus on services and diagnostics delivered at home but there has also been an increase in tech businesses tackling issues of healthcare finance, reflecting the region’s booming FinTech market.
Brazil and Mexico are the dominant Health Tech players in the region with Mexico closing the gap significantly over recent years
Nearly 80% of the the LATAM Health Tech 50 is provided by two nations, Brazil and Mexico, with a smattering of startups from across the rest of the region. Mexico’s increasing prominence in the market reflects the high levels of need for services across the country, with many startups focused on serving low to middle income patient populations.
Direct to consumer business models remain the principal route to market across economies with high levels of Out-of-Pocket spend on health
Globally there has been a shift from direct to consumer models towards B2B plays in healthcare, as the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions has once again changed consumer behavior. In LATAM however the market for consumer-facing healthcare remains strong and this is driving entrepreneurs to build startups focused on serving the significant portion of the 600M+ population that either has no access to healthcare or struggles to receive timely, quality care.
Startups in the LATAM Health Tech 50 are noticeably older in 2023, representing the harsher trading environment
The sharp dip in private funding globally has impacted the LATAM health market with companies struggling to justify peak pandemic valuations as trading conditions have reverted to pre-Covid norms. This has led to a cohort in 2023 that has many older and more established companies compared to 12 months ago. However a number of startups in the region have been able to buck that trend, with recently established and fast-growing players such as: Medsi (healthcare financing services); Alinea Health (EHR platform); Examedi (home health and diagnostics); Welbe Care (occupational health platform) and Prosperia (chronic disease screening).
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Global Insights from HolonIQ’s Intelligence Unit. Powered by our Global Impact Intelligence Platform.