The Asia Tech Podcast recorded a great conversation with Beth Ann Lopez, a Co-founder and CEO at Docosan, a healthcare marketplace that aims to make it effortless to access healthcare and help find a doctor who is available.
 
Some of the topics that Beth and I discussed:
  • How Beth ended up being a founder in Vietnam
  • Culture Shock
  • How building a business in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh is different
  • Docosan’s mission and how it helped attract locals to join the team
  • Healthcare and medical care literacy
  • The Startup ecosystem in Vietnam is just getting started
  • There are many female businesswomen in Vietnam
  • Access to clean water is more important than access to wealth
Some other titles we considered for this episode:
  1. Broaden Your Perspective and Adapt Along the Way
  2. Just Getting Started
  3. Creating a More Tech-Savvy Healthcare Industry
  4. Making Healthcare More Convenient

Read the best-effort transcript below (This technology is still not as good as they say it is…):

0:05Michael Waitze: Hi this is Michael Waitze and welcome back to the Asia Tech Podcast. Today, we are joined by Beth Lopez, a Co-founder, and CEO at Docosan. I got it didn’t I, I did didn’t I.

0:16:80 Beth Lopez: Yep, you got it.

0:17:62 Michael Waitze

I did. Beth, thank you so much for coming on the show. How are you doing today?

0:21:60 Beth Lopez

I am doing good Michael, thanks for having me.

0:23:79 Michael Waitze

It is a pleasure, I am really curious about your background, so can you, if you could give our listeners a little bit of your background before we dive in, that would be awesome.

0:33:77 Beth Lopez

Okay so, I’ve been a lifelong healthcare professional.

0:37:87 Michael Waitze

Okay

0:37.91 Beth Lopez

And umm, yea I guess a lot of people are curious how I ended up coming to, to be a founder in Vietnam and what drove me to be here cause it may not be you know the first and last name that people expect. So…

0:51:19 Michael Waitze

The first name fine, the last name, I don’t know.

0:54:58 Beth Lopez

Lopez, yea. Well, I’m originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, I’m Latina by background and my journey to Asia started back in 2012 when I joined the Peace Corps, the Peace Corps is this US government programme that sends Americans to work on development projects abroad and I thought for sure they’ll send me to somewhere in Latin America because it would’ve made more sense, a little bit you know what I mean.

1:20:05 Michael Waitze

You are a Spanish speaker yea?

1:21:71 Beth Lopez

Umm, it used to be a lot better than it is now but yea. So, after 10 Years here, it is hard to remember all the words. But for whatever reason, they ended up sending me to Cambodia.

1:35:94 Michael Waitze

They did really?

1:37:72Beth Lopez

Yea yea, I knew where it was on the map but I had never travelled to Asia or been there before and you know but I was…I was pretty excited and my family were also a bit relieved that I was going to Asia instead of a more conflicted kind of place.

1:52:98 Michael Waitze

Yea

1:53:10 Beth Lopez

And for 2 years, I lived in a small village at the Thai boarder called Bavel. So I had the experience of like you know taking like bucket showers every morning sporadic electricity and then try to speak Cambodian fluently, because, you know, as the only foreigner there, so no one’s gonna speak English. And I worked in a small kind of like, Public Health Centre. And yeah, every day, I’d go and see the doctors and the patients lining up and that was my introduction to, to living in Southeast Asia. And I became very passionate about just the health care issues faced by normal people from having lived there and experienced that.

2:30:51 Michael Waitze

Where does your healthcare training come from?

2:33:10 Beth Lopez

So I’ve got a Master’s in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health 

2:38:65 Michael Waitze

Small school in Boston *Laughs*

2:39:97 Beth Lopez

*Laughs* Small school in Boston, and my Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry. So Yeah.

2:45:51 Michael Waitze

Okay. But I mean at least there was a set up there, it wasn’t like the Peace Corps randomly sent you somewhere without any training right. I mean, you from Albuquerque, you said you went to school in Boston, and Cambodia was your first time in Asia and Southeast Asia? 

3:02:13Beth Lopez

Right, right.

3:02:62 Michael Waitze 

Was there any kind of culture shock for you? I mean, Boston, obviously, when school is in session is like one of the biggest populations of students in the world. But even when it’s not, Boston is a relatively cosmopolitan city, going to a border, a Thai border town in Cambodia. It’s just a different universe. No?  

3:20:24 Beth Lopez

Absolutely. Absolutely. And it, you know, when people think about moving abroad, and in kind of, you know, in a development setting, you know, they’re worried that, you know, maybe the toilets look different, or, you know, like the the bucket shower kind of thing stands out, but what’s hardest to get used to is not, you know, the conditions, but really just yeah, like living under a different culture. 

3:41:71 Michael Waitze

Yeah. 

3:41:06 Beth Lopez

And then, of course, being very different from everyone else around you. You can feel like you’re in a bit of a fishbowl, right? So everyone knew of me.

3:47:87 Michael Waitze

But it’s weird, though, right? So when you’re growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which in and of itself, I mean, even in the name, right? It’s got some kind of Latin American background in it. Right? 

3:59:24 Beth Lopez

Right. 

3:59:64 Michael Waitze

And as a kid growing up, look, I know what this is like too right like I’m from a minority group, but I don’t stand out. But when I went to Japan, which is a well developed country with, you know, yeah, toilets on the floor, for sure, but just a completely different culture. It was the first time in my life that I actually stood out. Do you know what I mean? Where I, where I was, like, a visual minority, where people were like, oh, there’s that guy who’s not from here. It’s a weird experience the first few times. Yeah.

4:24:05 Beth Lopez

yeah. I mean, I’ve been in Asia for 10 years at this point. So I don’t even think about it. I mean, after a while, you just kind of get used to.

4:31:19 Michael Waitze

 You do, but at the beginning, it’s a weird thing, because you’ve never been a person who stuck out before unless you’re, you know, six foot seven or something, right? 

 4:38:57 Beth Lopez

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, not only that, but just like, of course, like looking different, like physically but, you know, I had this like, bicycle that I had to get around with and most of the locals like rode motorbikes and stuff because the Peace Corps didn’t allow you to take on motorbikes. Right. So it’s just like, you know, one thing after the next that made you stand out. 

4:56:64 Michael Waitze

yeah, cuz it’s like, you’re just this foreign lady riding around on a bicycle, nobody else is doing any of the things you’re doing and I agree with you. Like the bucket shower feels like a really funny story. But at the end of the day, like you’re just trying to get clean and once you get used to it, it’s really no different than taking a regular shower. I mean, I could go through hours and hours of stories with you about the way I had to clean myself when I was in Japan and to be fair, it’s not much different. But you decided to stay? 

5:26:14 Beth Lopez

Yeah.

5:27:27 Michael Waitze

Like you couldn’t get enough of it. And it’s weird, right? Because Cambodia borders Vietnam. Is that true? 

5:32:13 Beth Lopez

Yeah.

5:32:03 Michael Waitze

But it’s like, but in a way, it’s like a completely different world as well.

5:35:818 Beth Lopez

Oh, absolutely. The countries are very different even though they are neighbours.

5:39:41 Michael Waitze 

I mean, I remember the first time I came to Thailand, and I went up to Chiang Rai. And I was sitting by the river and across the river was Laos. I mean, really just separated by river, right. And I remember looking across the river and looking in Thailand and thinking, we’re over here drinking beer, and they’re over there doing laundry in the river. It was just, it was just so stark how different it was. And I think a lot of people don’t understand because they look at Asia, Southeast Asia is this monolithic thing? And it’s not? Yeah.

 6:06:73 Beth Lopez

Yeah, definitely. I mean, different languages, different cultures, different histories as well. 

6:11:64 Michael Waitze

Yeah. 

6:11:94 Beth Lopez 

And, you know, kind of like historically, you know, given what happened after the Vietnam War, you know, sometimes there’s still some kind of like leftover animosities, even between the two. Well, they they do have similarities, but it’s just, yeah, a world of difference. 

6:27:56 Michael Waitze

Yeah, I mean, the first time I was in Cambodia was 1998. And I was in Siam Reap. I was visiting Angkor Wat, but back then there was nobody there. It doesn’t even really seem that long ago, but 24 years ago, I guess now is really a long, almost a  quarter of a century. And I felt like there was still guys from the Khmer Rouge running around, you know what I mean? That’s just what it felt like, to me whether or not that’s true or not, I don’t know. But that’s what it felt like. 

6:53:27 Beth Lopez

Yeah. Well, I mean, a lot of people are ex-Khmer Rouge that are there. And when you think about like Khmer Rouge, I guess, like you, you have, like groups of people who were the true believers who kind of ended up moving to a certain region of the country called them in a town called Along Veng. But then you have people throughout like the rest of the country who were there during that period of time, they couldn’t get out. And so they had to, you know, be I guess, technically, “7:19:37”, they would’ve been killed.

7:21:19 Michael Waitze

Yeah. Wanting to be or not wanting to be. Yeah.

7:23:30 Beth Lopez

Yeah, it wasn’t, it wasn’t an option. Like you were killed if you didn’t follow that system.

7:29:50 Michael Waitze

Did it change the way you perceive the region by literally like living in a place like Cambodia? Because, you know, I’ve lived in Thailand now for almost 10 years. But Thailand is very sophisticated, very civilised.  You know, I mean, like, it’s, it’s not a third world country. Definitely not in Bangkok. Yeah.

7:44:99 Beth Lopez

Yeah, Bangkok is amazing. Yeah, I always go to the huge malls there.

 7:48:76 Michael Waitze

Right. But even in Phnom Penh, like it’s still developing. Anyway, but you move from there to Vietnam.

7:55:925 Beth Lopez

Right. Yeah, I had come to Hanoi for like the first 9 months of living in Vietnam and then eventually moved down to her Chi Minh City or it was a bit easier to get started with business.

8:06:41 Michael Waitze

Is that different still?

8:08:80 Beth Lopez

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City? 

8:10:93 Michael Waitze

Yeah.

8:12:51 Beth Lopez

They’re pretty different. So I think like Hanoi is nice for vacation. You can spend like a couple of weeks they’re very easily, go and see the pretty sites like amazing food, you know, cool stuff to do, you know, as a tourist. But yeah, I just think like the South is a little bit more kind of like business friendly, open. The cultures are a bit different too and just for me, I mean, I like both. I like both a lot. But Ho Chi Minh City is I wouldn’t want to live somewhere else. It’s wonderful place.

8:41:30 Michael Waitze

Yeah. Do you feel like you stand out there as well? Are you just so like, numb to it that you don’t even notice that people are noticing?

8:48:63 Beth Lopez

Honestly, I’m so numb to it. It’s kind of funny. Like when you hang out with friends and they kind of noticed that everyone is like watching like both of you and then they’re kind of like, really? Is it okay to… no, don’t don’t worry. 

8:59:29 Michael Waitze

Do you speak Vietnamese now as well?

9:02:27 Beth Lopez

I just did a tiny little bit. 

9:04:25 Michael Waitze

Are the language is related at all? 

9:06:24 Beth Lopez

Vietnamese in Cambodia? No. So Cambodian is like, a little more closer to Thai. But even then they’re not like mutually intelligible. Some of the words are similar, but in Vietnamese, like very few things are similar. I think

9:18:88 Michael Waitze

what’s the base of the language? Do you know like, because I presume that thai’s like based on some kind of Sanskrit.

9:25:35 Beth Lopez

Pali and Sanskrit Right, yeah. Versus I think like Vietnamese is I don’t want to say the wrong thing, but like, more closely related to languages in China.

9:35:14 Michael Waitze

Yeah, I don’t know either. That’s what I’m asking you and it’s not a quiz. I’m just more curious than you think. At the end, we are not grading.

9:41:21 Beth Lopez

Okay, I don’t like to get bad grades.

9:46:51Michael Waitze

Hence, Harvard. I don’t like to get bad grades either. Don’t worry your mom and dad won’t know. I promise I won’t tell.

9:53:61 Beth Lopez

I’m sure they’re going to listen to this though so they would find out.

9:55:08Michael Waitze 

I’m sure they will too and just wonder who is that guy and why is he starring. So what was the impetus to start Docosan? And I have to tell you, I said this just before we started recording, you know, I lived in Japan for 22 years and anytime the word ends with son, it just sounds Japanese to me. I mean, that’s just my bias, right? 

10:14:70 Beth Lopez

Yea actually…

10:15:57 Michael Waitze

Has anyone told you that before?

10:17:39 Beth Lopez

Yeah, a lot of people think that, but it doesn’t have anything to do with Japanese. It’s actually a mixture of English and Vietnamese. So it’s Doc is in doctor. And then Gossen is in the Vietnamese word for available. So it’s like Dr. Gossen. Doctor available, because our whole mission is to make it effortless to access healthcare and find a doctor who’s available.

10:37:16 Michael Waitze

Got it. And is it female-focused or was it just for everybody?

10:40:87 Beth Lopez

It’s for everybody. It’s a mass market solution. But one thing that’s a bit unique about  Docosan is that we have an all-female executive team. And a little bit more than half of our users are also women. And so we’re pretty well poised to serve them well.

10:55:87 Michael Waitze

And what’s the idea? In other words, did you move to Vietnam to do this? Or did you get there and just think I’ve had all this healthcare experience, there’s something missing in the market, and I need to go and do this thing and build this thing. 

10:07:65 Beth Lopez

I originally came to the market as a market launcher. So I helped a Singaporean pharma-tech startup to launch an app for pharmacists called Swipe RX. And it was this kind of like social media app where they could you know, share information with each other get continuing education. And I had previously released it in Cambodia, did well, so they sent me next door to Vietnam. And so that’s, that’s why I came here. But while I was living in Vietnam, I just noticed how incredibly like well tech savvy everyone was, and how tech it affected like just about every industry, from like, the way that we get around, you’ve got like Grab and Gojek, to the way that we buy things, you’ve got Tiki, a local ecommerce platform, Lazada, Shopee, way we communicate through Zalo it’s the the big, like, kind of Vietnamese version of WhatsApp, but a little bit better actually and then, that when it came to healthcare, it was still totally old fashioned. You had to have personal connections to know where to go and there isn’t kind of a set primary care system that helps patients to navigate it. And so they’re a bit on their own. And so after, yeah, this this work that I’ve done with the the Pharmacist app, in seeing that huge gap in the health system after living here, I decided to to leave that job in order to start Docosan. And I’ve always been really passionate about helping people access health care from, you know, when I had come to Cambodia and the Peace Corps. 

12:31:37 Michael Waitze

Yeah, I mean, you don’t go to Harvard and study public policy, get a master’s in public policy or in health care, and then go to Cambodia and not care. If you’ve done that you’re faking really, really well. Which I don’t think is the case, but do you need local language skills to really understand what the local people need? Do you really mean? Like, what’s the local response to this service? There’s so many questions, right? Because I talk a lot about literacy, but not literacy, meaning reading and writing just sort of information literacy. Right? We talk a lot about it in the insurance field. And there’s an insurance angle for you as well. I’ll ask you about that later. But is there like a health care and a medical care literacy issue so that even people don’t even think about the fact that they need care, they just want to solve the issues on their own? Do you know what I mean?

13:18:99 Beth Lopez

Yeah, I do a lot of the stuff that goes unsaid, but it’s just kind of like the the norm or the way that we do things that it’s not apparent, if you you know, don’t have friends or family, or even if like, grown up here, too, right. And so as far as like language, being a barrier, I think it’s just really important to have really good locals that have like, gone through, gone through similar problems and understand that pain point very closely. So we do have some foreigners on our team. And our team is about 38 people and three of whom are foreign. But you know, the vast majority are locals. And, you know, we’ve had people that have joined because they are so attracted to the mission. You know, like one of our marketers told us the story, even like, during her first interview about her dad was sick and kept getting turned away from different hospitals. And he was like terminally ill. And you know, this poor guy had to literally like drive around in a motorbike and go to different hospitals before he could find you know, the right one that was able to kind of treat him and she remembers it and you know, she was like tearing up telling us this story. So yeah, I would say like healthcare is a bit different from other industries, not you know, it’s not just like, you know, the availability of getting you know, some some nice like makeup or you know, kind of shoes or whatever, but it can literally be life and death. And anyone that has had to get health care for either yourself or your loved one. You see in you feel very deeply the kind of like issues that face the health system, no matter where you are.

14:52:88 Michael Waitze

Right.  How do you how do you fill the information gap? Right, in other words, what type of engagement do you have to have with potential people that you’re trying to serve, and how do you teach some things that in some cases can be quite tactical, right? Like if your dad has a terminal illness? You know, Is it cancer? Is it like late stage, really bad form diabetes, all these things that you may not even know exists? But you just know, Dad’s not feeling well, like, how do you fill that information gap is that part of the service you provide as well.

15:22:64 Beth Lopez

So Docosan is a healthcare marketplace. So we help people to navigate the system, they can find and book different types of doctors online and offline. And so it’s all about giving people choices and options. And so maybe if you go to one kind of place, you can read reviews about how other patients have experienced the service there. You can also find, like second opinions and things like that. So it’s helping people to navigate. But you know, at the, at the end of the day, you know, people will choose whatever service they feel like is right for them and their family’s needs.

15:54:27 Michael Waitze

Yeah, but how do they know what’s wrong? You know what I mean? Like I was really sick in 2020 and I had no idea what was wrong.

16:04:19 Beth Lopez

Right? So I mean, it’s you either get better or you don’t, right? And if you don’t get better, then you keep looking until you find whatever it is that like makes you feel better.

16:13:12 Michael Waitze

Yeah. Is there an insurance angle here as well? Do you know what I mean? 

16:17:46 Beth Lopez

Insurance angle? 

16:18:70 Michael Waitze

I’ll tell you why. So in Southeast Asia, as you know, the insurance penetration just like medical care, penetration is still remains low, right. And a lot of people don’t have experience with insurance. First of all, because the GDP per capita is not high enough, but second of all, because they’re just not familiar with it, again, back to this literacy issue. But is there a way if people need medical care and need health care services? Is there a way to build insurance and like an InsurTech into the product so that there’s some way for them to not have to pay for all this stuff themselves? Like, how does that work in Vietnam?

16:50:69 Beth Lopez

Well, over 90 or 90%, of health spending in the private sector is out of pocket.

16:55:75 Michael Waitze

Right.

16:56:02 Beth Lopez

So people are not covered by private insurance. And it’s typically only kind of like people in the high end, really white collar workers who are working at banks and thinks that have private insurance. But the vast majority of the population are covered by public insurance. But it doesn’t, you know, it covers services at the public hospitals, but there’s still some gaps in the kind of care that, you know, they can get reimbursed for. And so, yeah, I think there is an insurance angle, and you have some really great companies like Papaya InsurTech is one that is like, you know, working about claims processing and patient education around insurance. But for us, like insurance is not like the focus, it’s just about helping people to define and access the care that they need. You know, generally what happens is like you they find a provider through us, they go to them, and then you know, they get the invoice from the provider, and they can, you know, file for reimbursement through that.

17:48:97 Michael Waitze 

We had Papaya on the show.

17:51:20 Beth Lopez

Okay, nice. You talked to him. 

17:53:80 Michael Waitze

Yea, Two and a half years ago. again, what’s happening in Vietnam, and part of the reason why I’m so interested in this, because most people don’t know, right? I mean, my guess is that as you start telling stories back to your college friends, but also to your family friends, their perception of what’s happening in Vietnam, and what’s happening could be two completely different things, right, just based on the news that’s come out over the past 30 years. Sorry, go ahead. 

18:18:97 Beth Lopez

I mean, that is funny, because like, a lot of the times, Americans, you know, it’s easy to stay in the US, it’s a huge country. And there’s a lot of stuff that’s there, it’s, you know, easy enough to get, like jobs and things and so the people don’t necessarily always like travel abroad and think of things differently. And so sometimes, like, with Vietnam, they just think about the war that happened, you know, a really long time ago, but Vietnam is this like, you know, amazing, dynamic place that it was just everything is like growing like crazy, you know, like, incomes, tech, just just everything. It’s an amazing country. And it’s a really fun place. Yeah, it’s nice to be a part of that.

18:56:70 Michael Waitze

did you? This is off topic. But did you watch the Ken Burns documentary?

19:01:25 Beth Lopez

I did not, it’s too sad. 

19:02:49 Michael Waitze 

Oh you have to, it’s long I think it’s actually 12 episodes, which would make it like around 10 hours or something. It’s really long, but really, really good. But the reason why I bring it up is because it’s a really interesting window into both Vietnamese and an American perspective on the war, and also afterwards, it’s just really interesting. And for someone who’s my age, different from somebody who’s your age, like I grew up knowing about that. So when I went to Vietnam for the first time in 1991, or 1992, I can’t remember first of all very different than it is today, but you could feel the dynamism like bubbling up already. Yeah, it was only 16 years after the war had ended anyway, but you could feel the fact that like, the people just want it to be free if that makes sense. Is that fair?

19:49:19 Beth Lopez

Yeah, I mean, I don’t know what it was like back in, you know, like the, the the early times but like from, you know, when I was living in rural Cambodia, I would often talk to people who have gone through those like periods of war, and, you know, like decades of just like hardship. And I think maybe it’s like why it’s really hard for me to kind of like watch documentaries about stuff about, you know, like people getting shot and killed. It’s because like, you know, people that like, those are their family members, and it’s just too sad. But I think like, yeah, and even like, a lot of the young generations, too, it’s not something that everyone talks about. Everyone’s just excited about the future.

 20:27:58 Michael Waitze 

Yeah. And that’s kind of the feeling that I got when I was there. Actually, in 1991. Cambodia was a very different experience, because it was a much rawer experience for me when I was there. But that’s, that’s conversation for a different time. Have you been funded? Like, what is your position or viewpoint on the startup ecosystem in Vietnam? As a whole? Right? Is it a tight knit community? Is it spread out throughout the country? Is it really focused in Ho Chi Minh? Like what’s going on there?

20:55: 35 Beth Lopez

And I think it’s starting to grow a lot. So our funding situation is that last year, in April, we raised a million dollar seed round from a Taiwanese VC called AppWorks. And they’ve been a really great partner throughout all of this. And, yeah, if you look at other Vietnamese companies and other Vietnamese Health Tech, like, more and more funding is starting to come into the country. I think investors, especially international investors, have seen many successes come from Indonesia, you know, there’s other like, you know, dynamic emerging market, but almost like so much money flew into Indonesia. Now. It’s hyper competitive, right? That Vietnam, things are just kind of getting started, like, you know, you’re starting to see bigger check sizes, more growth stage companies, you’re starting to see more unicorns come out of here. And I think like, as those those kinds of companies mature more, and people, you know, get richer and see, you know, startups is something beneficial in good for society. We’ll see see more and more of this. 

21:51:02 Michael Waitze

Yeah, I don’t disagree with you. I mean, we’ve had some very successful other Vietnamese startups on the show, I love having these conversations, a million dollars, you said you raise from a Taiwanese investor. 

22:00:07 Beth Lopez

Right. 

22:01:28 Michael Waitze

Congratulations, by the way, raising any kind of money from any investor anywhere in the world is hard work. Is there? Are there challenges specific challenges to being a female foreign entrepreneur in Vietnam? Was it kind of no different there than it would be if you were in Silicon Valley, you know what I mean? 

22:19:20 Beth Lopez

I don’t think it’s that different from in Silicon Valley, or somewhere else, like, I mean, you still you have like barriers, and you know, issues everywhere. But one thing that I do think is like quite cool about Vietnam, and something that is like really inspiring here is you have a lot of female business owners too. So if you go to like, you know, the chambers of commerce, and if you go to, you know, kind of like business events, like you know, there’s a lot of women there. And that is quite cool. And that’s, that’s, you know, sometimes a little bit different from what you might expect in the States.

22:45:06 Michael Waitze

Did that surprise you though, in other words, if you had thought to yourself beforehand that I’m going to leave the US, which feels at some point, or at least it used to when I was a little kid, like a progressive country, that there would be more opportunity or easy opportunity for women in Southeast Asia, particularly in a developing economy, is that surprising to you?

23:01:27 Beth Lopez

I never would have pictured my life being how it is now. I did not think I would even like you know be like working in the entrepreneur, being in Southeast Asia is something that, you know, happened serendipitously, you know, and I, if I just kind of like, chosen exactly what I wanted, maybe it would have been a much more boring life still in the US.

23:22:69 Michael Waitze

But what was that thing that you wanted? I mean, you went to the Peace Corps for a reason. Right? And you went in to help people? 

23:32:41 Beth Lopez

Oh, well, I guess like the original plan was, was to go to medical school. And it was like, you know, very, very straightforward path, go to medical school, and then be a doctor, and then you’re a doctor, and you see, and you help people every single day. But then, you know, after I worked in the Peace Corps, and was at that community clinic, I just saw that there were so many other barriers to health care that had to do with not just had to do with like seeing the doctor physically. But all these things that we call like the social determinants of health. 

23:59:84 Michael Waitze

What is that? 

24:01:01 Beth Lopez

It’s like the reasons and structures and policies why people can’t get good health care. It could be having unfinished roads, and that make it difficult to even like travel to a clinic. It could be unsafe policy, or like, people not wearing like seatbelts or wearing helmets. Or like in the example of Cambodia, a lot of there wasn’t quite like a good running water where I lived. And so it was really common to get like intestinal parasites. And you know, I got sick all the time, too. But that wasn’t such a big deal. I’m an adult, that when little kids get sick and from drinking bad water then that affects like their their guts ability to absorb nutrients and that can have effects for the rest of their life.

24:41:767 Michael Waitze

Do you want to talk at all about the impact that access to clean water is almost more important than like access to money? 

24:50:91 Beth Lopez

Yeah, yeah. And it’s like this this weird kind of thing too. Because like, now like, where I  live in Bavel. I can literally like FaceTime. with my whole family when we catch up, you know, we they have like good 4G In the village now, which is super cool, but the water system is still missing. So somehow they’ve managed to get you know, like 4G and you know x and all the kids are on TikTok, you know, the last time that they went, but you still have these like big infrastructure problems. 

25:18:40 Michael Waitze 

Yeah and that’s part of the healthcare system. What did you call it? The social determinants, that needs to be solved. This is a really big problem. And at the root of most of a lot of health issues. I won’t say most it’s just like, cleanliness and water, access to water, right. Something w.e take for granted comes out of the tap. You can drink it. 

25:35:46 Beth Lopez

Yea, absolutely.

25:37:01 Michael Waitze

 Yeah. Okay, I’m going to let you go. I really appreciate you spending some time with me today. Beth Lopez, A co founder and the CEO of, I’m going to mispronounce this, Docosan. I think I got it again. 

25:46:49 Beth Lopez

You got it right. 

25:48:96 Michael Waitze

Thank you. 

25:49:40 Beth Lopez

Likewise, Michael.

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