"To effect change in healthcare, one must be relentlessly dissatisfied, and that's been our ethos from the start." - Sami, São Paulo
In the rich tapestry of Brazil, home to 214 million people, where culture thrives and communities flourish, a reality dims its promise: the state of healthcare. As we delve into the complexities of this crucial sector, it becomes imperative to confront the statistics that underscore both progress and enduring challenges. Since 2018, Sami, a portfolio company of Mundi Ventures, has been at the forefront of addressing these issues, working tirelessly to broaden access and equity across the nation.
The Healthcare Access Landscape in Brazil
Brazil has made strides towards universal healthcare coverage (UHC) in the past decade. According to the latest United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Indicator 3.8.1, the "Universal health coverage (UHC) service coverage index (SCI)" for Brazil has consistently scored above 80 since 2015. However, delving deeper, the journey towards comprehensive universal healthcare access remains incomplete.
While Brazilians take pride in the public health safety net offering free care to all, securing an appointment at a public hospital often relies on luck. Attempting to unify healthcare for 214 million people in Brazil's diverse landscape inevitably strains and underfunds the healthcare system.
Out-of-Pocket Expenditure as a Barrier to Equality
Brazil boasts one of the world's highest ratios of private to public healthcare expenditure, ranking third globally inprivate health expenditure after the US and China, with $106 billion annually. However, only 20% of the population has access to private health insurance. Out-of-pocket expenditure casts a shadow over Brazil's healthcare landscape, perpetuating inequalities and cycles of poverty.
Sami: Forging a Path Towards Equity and Inclusion
Sami, a São Paulo-based Series B startup, confronts Brazil's healthcare challenges head-on. Co-founders Vitor Asseituno, MD, and Luiz Guilherme Berardo leverage telemedicine and big data to make Brazilian healthcare affordable, accessible, and environmentally sustainable.
Traditionally, Brazilians seek initial diagnoses at hospitals or emergency care, regardless of their health issue. With Sami, patients access primary care digitally through the Sami app, facilitating swift diagnosis and appropriate medical referrals.
Sami's impact extends beyond enhanced primary healthcare accessibility. Despite Brazil's ethnic diversity, disparities persist in medical system access. Vitor and Guilherme prioritize inclusivity, with Sami's Chief Diversity Leader, Melina Moura, conducting focus group interviews to understand barriers faced by minority groups. By prioritizing digitization and inclusivity, Sami democratizes healthcare access in Brazil, with over 60% of Sami's customers being first-time health insurance holders.
Harnessing Gen-AI for Healthcare: Prioritising Customer Satisfaction
Sami now serves over 20,000 people, prioritising customer satisfaction with an impressive 89 Net Promoter Score (NPS). However, Vitor sees room for improvement through new technology adoption. Partnering with Google, Sami aims to enhance efficiency and affordability in the Brazilian healthcare system, making it more accessible to all.