CMO of the Year: Materializing Biotech and Health Sciences Ideas
Bernard Esquivel is a practicing physician-scientist, senior executive, and international leader with in-depth expertise in developing new markets, go-to-market strategies, and launching programs to fulfill organizational goals for the healthcare space. With about a decade of experience in materializing biotech and health sciences ideas and concepts into clinically actionable solutions, Bernard mobilized the local healthcare community to engage them in the practice of precision medicine by founding and presiding over the Latin American Association of Personalized Medicine (ALAMP). Bernard has a rich experience in many domains – from genomics and precision medicine to population health management and digital health. Bernard has also been on a mission to make precision medicine and digital health a reality, overcoming numerous challenges to make it clinically actionable and cost-effective.
Just like any other manager in an organization, the Chief Medical Officer plays a pivotal role in streamlining the healthcare operations in a modern healthcare structure. Dr. Esquivel has been fascinated by precision medicine for years and is a pioneer in driving innovations in the healthcare space. “The crucial element is that you need to take into account when you’re running these types of roles is to accurately assess a huge variety of factors to have a compelling suggestion for the rest of the team. Thoroughly, I would say it’s the knowledge of different healthcare settings and technologies that would help to continue growing skill sets beyond the wheelhouse,” explains Esquivel.
Esquivel understands the fact that healthcare is a growing and massive industry, and to be the CMO, is entirely different from working in any other space. His core ideas are based on three pillars: clinical actionability, regulatory compliance and responsible and sustainable business growth, “To succeed, I think one of the key elements right now is interoperability. There’s data everywhere, in every single clinical entity that you go to, but connecting that information is crucial. This is in addition to the portability features required today,” adds Esquivel.
“How can the same data be when you go to your cardiologist, go your primary care doctor, and to your laboratory, and everything needs to be accessible to you? And that’s the third element; data needs to be patient-centric. About a decade ago, everything was driven by a structural focus, whereas today, the healthcare space is entirely changing. Today, it’s about value-based care driven by population and individual outcomes. It’s making the patient become the center of all the exercises,” he points out.
As one of the renowned Medical Officers, Esquivel clearly understands that data plays a critical role in modern healthcare. As there’s a lot of data around each patient, it needs to be actionable, and that’s where the numerous flirtation processes come in. “To get the actual value of such patient data, you need to know how to filter and clean up that data. This will slowly help us step into the Precision Medicine era, where we tailor your treatment to your own specific needs or, even better, based on predictive modelling, we implement tailored proactive actions aiming to avoid or delay the onset of diseases.,” extols Esquivel. “We’re also talking about prevention via prediction.”
Over the years, Esquivel has made remarkable contributions to the healthcare space. According to him, the key to this aspect is that he always likes to push himself out of his comfort zone and learn new stuff. “I think it is essential to have a robust structure, the proper structure to keep rocking. I will continue focusing on having that structure and building teams that complement each other with different skill sets and backgrounds. I will love to help my team navigate that by always keeping in mind that the patient rolls first. Sometimes, as CMOs, we need to know when to push back. That is not always about being pro and driving; periodically, you need to know when to say hold your horses, let’s revisit the strategy and adjust as necessary until we are confident that it is ready to be deployed; it is crucial to keep in always in mind that there is too much at stake, we are talking about health,” concludes Esquivel.
Materializing Biotech and Health Sciences IdeasM
Dr. Esquivel, CMO
“To succeed, I think one of the key elements right now is interoperability. There’s data everywhere, in every single clinical entity that you go to, but connecting that information is crucial. This is in addition to the portability features required today”