Technology at the service of health: Learn the testimony of our graduate Piero Cosme and his PEOPL project
Technology at the service of health: Learn the testimony of our graduate Piero Cosme and his PEOPL project

The advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) and other innovative technologies facilitates its application in key sectors such as health, for example, to speed up the treatment of each patient and improve its quality. This is what Piero Cosme, a graduate of the Bioengineering degree at UTEC, considers to be, which seeks to guarantee the access of patients with serious diseases to an adequate treatment through its startup PEOPL.


What were your first steps as an entrepreneur?
I was always passionate about the intersection between technology and health, as I believed in its potential to improve the lives of millions of people. My entrepreneurial and research experience began at UTEC, where I worked as a research assistant in biomechanics with Professor Wangdo Kim. I am grateful for your support from the beginning. During that time, I founded my first venture called LEG(it), which later became the subject of my thesis.


What was the first project?
The objective of LEG(it) was to improve access to low-cost medical devices for people with disabilities, especially in the case of prostheses for those who had lost lower limbs. However, after two and a half years of trying to take this venture forward, without much success, I decided to turn the page and found PEOPL, an ecosystem of access to health for the largest chronic patient community in Latin America.


What motivated you to create this new startup called PEOPL?
My motivation came from a tragic experience I experienced with my family during my last year of college: my father’s cancer diagnosis. This experience marked me deeply, teaching me valuable lessons and generating a wide range of emotions. During that period, uncertainty and fear dominated most of our steps as a family. In addition, we faced obstacles so that my father could receive medical care as quickly as possible in the public health system. Fortunately, we made it.


What lessons can you highlight?
We realized that we were lucky and that our situation was not the same as many other people who had to wait months and months to get care while the disease progressed. Understanding the number of people who died or were affected by not being able to complete their treatment, I knew I had to do something about it and I started the venture that would become PEOPL.


What is the mission of PEOPL?
Our purpose is to help all patients with chronic diseases complete their treatment and improve their quality of life. Lack of treatment compliance is a global problem affecting more than 343 million people worldwide, causing more than three million deaths annually and generating an economic impact of USD 1.4 billion.


How does PEOPL work?
We started by addressing the needs of the cancer patient community through a virtual caregiver called Pipo. This tool uses AI to provide educational and planning resources in an empathetic and conversational experience. It’s like having a nurse available 24 hours a day on your cell.


What tasks does the virtual caretaker Pipo perform?
Patients register through our website Peopl and Pipo immediately writes to them via WhatsApp. Through the chat, he gives them reminders of medical appointments and medications; he guides them on their treatment, side effects and diagnosis, and records their symptoms in a report that we use to improve patient communication with their doctor. Thus, we educate and organize patients so that they can fulfill their treatment and make better informed decisions to increase the clinical benefit of treatments. It is worth mentioning that Pipo only acts as a link between the doctor and his patient to help in his treatment, since he never shares clinical recommendations.


What challenges does the PEOPL team face?
We seek to positively impact the lives of our users by addressing a global problem that affects the industry and claims millions of lives each year. It is one of the greatest historical challenges in the health sector. However, recent advances in AI provide a unique opportunity to provide an unmatched and humane experience to an industry that has historically failed to place patients at the center. We know it is an extremely difficult problem to solve, but our ambition and commitment to overcome it are also great. I trust in the exceptional team we have formed and I know that PEOPL will be our contribution to global society through an organization that puts patients at the centre of its decisions.


What are PEOPL’s future plans?
I currently live in Mexico as part of our expansion plans at PEOPL. We are excited to improve the lives of many Mexican patients and continue to expand our impact. We want to focus on improving the quality of our service and further developing technology to maximize the value we bring to users. In addition, I am currently in Switzerland, as our team was selected from 25 Latin American companies to join the START Global Fellowship, an organization whose mission is to empower entrepreneurs under 25 years of age around the world. For my part, I will continue to work towards a future in which all patients can access and complete their treatment accordingly.

Like Piero, you too, as a UTEC student, can access experiences of entrepreneurship and internationality that contribute to your professional development.

More news