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South Africa, Healthcare
Brazilian entrepreneurs Luciana Guimaraes and Vanessa Vazquez founded Integra Medical in 2005 to offer patients suffering from chronic diseases improved treatment and support. People suffering from chronic disease struggle to manage treatments where progress is difficult to assess, and medication is difficult to obtain. Integra helps patients manage their conditions through print and digital resources that detail their course of treatment, and provide personal guidance from doctors and psychologists who monitor their treatment. Integra has proven to improve the quality of service and reduce patient dropout rates, benefiting both types of the company’s clients: pharmaceutical companies that sell chronic disease medication and the patients themselves.
Vanessa and Luciana graduated from Paulista University and worked for Luciana’s family, an oncology drugs distributor. The company was sold to Audifar, and the women’s were exposed to chronic disease treatment. Drug companies struggled to capitalize on potential customers because they often dropped out of treatment, and patients suffered needlessly, lost in the bureaucracy required to get their medicine or confused and unable to properly dose their treatment.
In 2005, Luciana resigned and by 2006 the entrepreneurs leveraged contacts to sign a contract with a drug developer. In their first project, Vanessa and Luciana built out a program to provide educational materials for patients suffering from breast cancer. As their reputation grew, so did their portfolio.
As the founders of an innovative and growing company, Luciana and Vanessa are role models for all ambitious Brazilian women.
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