Healthcare Research in Brazil and Argentina – An EphMra webinar run by Fine



London, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires,  October 2022, 

Is it possible to use an English speaking moderator  in Brazil? How can you access patients in Argentina?   What is unique about the healthcare systems in these countries? 

These and many other queries were addressed during a webinar hosted by Bernadette Rogers  (European Pharmaceutical Market Research Association- EphMRA), with content prepared by Bianca Zappiello (Fine Brazil) and Florencia Rojo (Fine Argentina), in order to expose the main challenges and opportunities when researching these markets. 

 Content included discussions around

    – Healthcare Systems

    – Telemedicine

    – Virtual fatigue and drives towards in-person connections

   – Hints and tips for global market researchers

The event triggered many question in the final Q&A section, showing the interest of global researchers to better understand the local cultures and associated  implications for their research designs.

To get a free summary copy of the presentation please write to Florencia Rojo (

You can learn more about EphMRA learning opportunities and events clicking here  

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Standing for Quality at ESOMAR 2022




Toronto, September 2022.-  A very enlightening panel discussion was held during ESOMAR’s 2022 annual conference in Toronto around survey quality. 

More specifically speakers highlighted the evolving methods of survey imposters as an increasingly critical problem in the insights industry.

InnovateMR and Opinion Route shared an original work through their presentation “Freeze Fraudster” which included videos with real fraudsters disclosing their tricks, something that was never seen is this type of events.

Later an expert panel discussion was lead by Diego Casaravilla (FINE’s CEO and Conference Programme Committee Member) with the participation of Sandy Casey (SVP of Global Supply at InnovateMR), Rich Ratcliff (Chief Product Officer of OpinionRoute), Vignesh Krishnan (CEO and Founder of Research Defender), Kyle Hope (head of Supply and Partnerships at Quest Mindshare) and Leib Litman (co-founder and Chief Research Officer at CloudResearch).

An eye-opening exchange included detailing current solutions and also proposed actions to address this serious risk.

Some takeaways from this discussion were:

1.  Fraud is a serious threat to our activity since is putting in jeopardy the trust in our surveys. No matter how sophisticated the statistical or analytical models are, they become useless if not fed by real human beings providing genuine responses. While fraud is not new, it has been accelerated by the increased adoption of virtual currencies, as a means for respondents compensation.

2.  Fraud is everywhere not just in Market Research, and experience shows that only way to properly handle it, is to have a specific strategy and this should include proper fraud detection procedures and full transparency. There are a variety of tricks fraudsters employ, some involving sophisticated software or clicking farms and robots, others more manual procedures and each of these require specific detection responses.

3. Sample partners should be accountable and take responsibility for the quality they deliver, and is critical to know who is working in each project and what are they doing to prevent fraud. But is also an industry problem and all stakeholders should participate including the associations, sample suppliers, agency and end users. We need to define a set of best practices and guidelines to agree on a universally and verifiable approach that takes care of the privacy but also provides transparency and confidence.

At FINE we take quality very seriously. We understand as our primary responsibility to have an active role in controlling sample quality. 

Some of our procedures include:

– We only invite previously verified respondents (namely doctors verified by national medical registries)

– Avoid virtual currencies and only pay through named bank accounts by wire transfer thus ensuring traceability and using same identification procedures as the banking industry.

– Use digital fingerprint technology to fully track responses and detect duplications.

– Have an active blacklisting procedure avoiding not only potential fraudsters but also speeders and disengaged respondents from taking part.

– Run due diligence on any name change request to ensure is not a fraud. 

– Make a company commitment from our CEO, to every PM, quality officer and field staff member to employ all needed controls and technologies to ensure we only provide genuine data to our clients. 

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Fine’s CEO appointed in Program Committee of the Esomar Global Conference in Toronto



June 2022

We are proud to share that our CEO, Diego Casaravilla, has been appointed as part of the Program Committee of  ESOMAR annual conference taking place in Toronto in September.

He is joined by a selected crew which also  includes Graeme Lawrence (Managing Partner at InSites Consulting), Barry Watson (President at Environics), Caroline Frankum (Global CEO Profiles Division at Kantar), Charles Wilson (Director CI & Analytics at New Balance), Emily Huang (Associate Manager at Nielsen), Fenny Léautier (Head MI & Analytics Personal Health at Philips) and Neha Firdous (Manager – Consumer Insights at Amazon).  

Once again we expect ESOMAR will shine a spotlight on the very best business success stories and solutions, craft unique networking experiences and revel in the reunion of our insights community and a chance to finally connect with our peers in person

Esomar this year feature a number of interesting what if queries such as what if we build a better world through research or you could help activate change? 

Diego will be chairing the panel What If Research Could Save The Planet? 

Using conjoint analysis to unite Canadians on climate change. How researchers teamed up with leading environmental groups to understand what policy bundles to tackle climate change and advance social justice might galvanize Canadians in support of bold action. by James Boothroyd, EcoAnalytics, Canada and Sarah Roberton, Environics Research, Canada

How data led to breakthroughs in innovation & technology to impact people and the environment. by  Busola (Akin-Olawore) Boyle-Komolafe, Versa Research, Nigeria

Becoming a World’s First! Making Carbon Neutrality a Reality
How Maple Leaf Foods put the consumer at the heart of its initiative to become the world’s first major food company to go carbon neutral by Darlene Macdonald, Maple Leaf Foods, Canada and Amy Knowles, Research Strategy Group, Canada

See what Diego comments during the Program Committee meeting in Amsterdam when asked by ESOMAR why he believes the event shall not be missed


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One Thousand Messages for the Humanitarian Response in Ukraine




April, 2022

We are very glad to share that we have delivered 2460 support messages prepared by Latin America healthcare professionals to the Save The Children Humanitarian Response team who is working in the  borders of Ukraine to assist the refugees fleeing from the horrors of the war.

Save the Children team is receiving kids and their families, providing food, hygiene kits, toys, and installing safe spaces where children can play, learn and survive the duel and the loss.

We simply asked these healthcare workers to dedicate a few seconds to give a message of encouragement and to meet the challenge of getting at least 1000 messages.

While the campaign involved a base donation, FINE committed to double the amount if we were able to reach at least this number of messages in order to generate a wide engagement with the initiative.

We were delighted to learn that in just one week we received this large amount of support provided by primary care doctors, nurses, and other specialists from 17 countries. These were translated into English, Polish, Rumanian and Ukrainian and delivered to Save The Children along with an associated donation.

Let us share a few that we believe summarize the spirit of all the messages received

“Thank you for being right now where you are most needed, for being those heroes who without weapons give encouragement and support to all those people.”, tells Maria, an Argentine Pediatrician

“You are the helping hand and the joy of all the people who cross the border; I join you from the bottom of my heart and with my best wishes so that the refugees of war may find peace in you.”, comments David from Venezuela

“Medicine means many things, but the most important are compassion and service, it is you who best represent the value and importance of medical care.”  shares Oscar,  a primary care physician from the Dominican Republic.

We are very proud about the community response and do hope that these messages may add some comfort and strength and help these workers to realize that they are not alone.

This group of healthcare workers from Latin America join millions around the world who celebrate that even in the midst of the horror, there is an incredible and sensitive team who is in the field helping the children and their families to go through this extremely difficult journey.

Save The Children team was kind enough to send back a message to share with our community which tells:   

“Hello everyone at Fine Research. My name is Rebecca Davis and I´m with Save The Children International. I have received and have sent to our field teams in Ukraine and in the neighbour countries where we are working, your words of comfort, of humanity and solidarity. … I know there were many many many messages who spoke words of, again, solidarity and peace with aid workers and our own medical teams on the ground in Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Romania. Thank you so much for being a partner and thank you for your own work that you do and your own humanitarianism. We are so so very grateful…”

Check Rebecca’s full video


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Post-COVID Healthcare in Latin America



March 2022

During ESOMAR’s webcast Dynamic, Diverse, Digital we shared trends from our HCP ongoing tracking study and which are the likely trends for the post-covid future. 

 This is an initiative that Fine Research has been developing since March 2020 and which involved collecting data from over 16,000 interviews from LatAm HCPs. It has been widely used by researchers, healthcare decision makers, and marketers as a reference to understand and preview the ongoing transformations in healthcare in the region.

A summary of results was publish at Research World Magazine and the article can be accessed here

The last wave includes responses from 2,521 medical professionals from Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Chile, covering the post-pandemic scenario on topics such as telemedicine, impact on diseases, emotional health of doctors and patients, COVID vaccines and relationships with the pharma industry.

You can read our executive summary below or check our  FULL REPORT

Is Post-COVID already here?

It is not difficult to set a list of abrupt changes that we have seen during this pandemic. However, it may be more challenging to identify which of these have been merely circumstantial and which are trends that will grow and consolidate over time.

In order to address such broad topic, we can put ourselves in the shoes of the HCPs as key stakeholders of the healthcare system. The first and most intriguing question is whether we are already in the post-pandemic.

On this point there is no unified front among healthcare professionals other than praising the benefits of vaccination. Vaccination against COVID has been massively valued by professionals, and in the last six months they have shown an increased trust in vaccines. But is the combination of comprehensive vaccination and a temporary drop of cases a firm trend? Or shall we expect in LatAm what we see in some other parts of the world with repeated waves and spread of new virus variants?

By November 2021, only 8% believed that their country was still in an acute phase of the epidemic. In general, while the improvement in the reduction of severe cases is acknowledged, physicians tended to be cautious and the return of severe waves of COVID – albeit not an unanimously anticipated outcome – is the most likely scenario for HCPs in Colombia and Mexico. On the other side of the spectrum, Brazilian doctors are significantly more confident that severe waves are unlikely to return.

Beyond the varied perspectives, it is noticeable that physicians present a more cautious vision than their own patients, who are mostly confident that serious waves are part of the past and even, for many, that the pandemic is already completely over in their country.

But in this context of cautious optimism , it is worth asking – assuming there are no abrupt changes – how permanent will these transformations we have seen over time be?

Worsening of health conditions

Among the trends that were intense at the peak of the pandemic – but circumstantial in nature – are the reduction in the number of treated patients and the limited operation of healthcare institutions across different specialties.

The sharp plunge in visits to doctors during the most intense phase of the pandemic undoubtedly stands out in Latin America. In May 2020, we identified a 61% drop in the number of patients seen in relation to pre-pandemic levels. The data further suggests that this was only marginally offset by the increased use of non-face-to-face forms of care, whether by telephone, WhatsApp or videoconferencing, making the impact of reduced medical care extremely relevant.

At that time, physicians identified that only 6 out of 10 of their patients managed to keep an adequate adherence to their treatments, with slight variations among the different diseases such as diabetes, cancer, HIV, or autoimmune, heart and respiratory diseases.

They also reported a significant drop in preventive medicine and, for example, the number of breast or prostate cancer screenings in October 2020 fell by more than 60% from pre-pandemic levels, according to data previously released by Fine.

In November 2021, in a context where COVID-19 cases and mortality in the region have tended to decline, at least temporarily, professionals reported that patients have lost their fear of infection in the examination room (and also in clinical tests) and therefore face-to-face care is almost reestablished. Considering the estimates of more than 2500 doctors in the region, the number of patients seen is now only 16% below pre-COVID levels.

However, the worsening of many diseases is still reflected in clinical practice. For example, more than 4 out of 10 physicians report complications of chronic diseases and late diagnoses due to lack of consultation during the pandemic.

In addition, this reduced contact has been paralleled by other health effects, and physicians describe most of their patients as showing a more sedentary lifestyle and a worsening of eating habits, in a context of increased economic restrictions.

Professionals from Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, moreover, are the ones who most strongly express the impact of the weakened economy on the access to healthcare and claim that about half of their patients are facing financial restrictions that limit their access to medicines and even to medical consultation.

Considering the significant levels of infection in the region, this is followed by post COVID or long COVID syndrome, which is also a significant area of concern for HCPs.

Increased fatigue is the most common symptom, but also shortness of breath, joint or chest pain, cardiovascular and psychiatric/neurological symptoms, resulting in general in a worsening of quality of life for these patients.

Would this be worsening further over time? Not necessarily, and the good news is that physicians estimate that in 12 months the levels of reduced adherence and late diagnosis would tend to be mitigated by the current normalization of patient care.

Emotional Impact

It will take longer, however, to reverse the emotional aftermath of the pandemic. Increased anxiety, resulting from increased mental health vulnerability, is affecting 2 out of 3 of their patients, as reported by professionals.

Although 3 out of 10 doctors believe that the emotional impact of the pandemic tends to remain at lower levels, almost half of them imagine that it will worsen.

The latter is valid for patients but also for physicians, and 9 out of 10 doctors acknowledge being emotionally affected. More than a quarter of the 2521 doctors surveyed in November 2021 report not sleeping as well as before the pandemic; a third feel more pressured and anxious, and more than half report being more tired.

Even with the decrease in cases, nearly a quarter of physicians say they fear getting COVID or infecting their families. While it is true that the fear of infection has plummeted, it is noteworthy that almost 4 out of every 10 doctors have received a positive diagnosis of COVID, which is obviously several times the reported figures in the populations of the different countries.

In fact, more than half of the professionals report having been in contact with COVID-infected patients in the past week.

There have been, however, a few variations in physicians’ feelings. In a population where vaccination has advanced rapidly, doctors consistently report less concerns about personal and family infection, they experience less uncertainty, and have also overcome the isolation experienced at the peak of the pandemic.

However, physicians’ fatigue stands out more nowadays, and the proportion of professionals who recognize that they are more easily irritated is also higher compared to the data we collected in May 2020.

Consequently, the higher level of risk of burn-out in the profession should not come as a surprise. And indeed, 9 out of 10 doctors believe it has increased and will remain relevant in the foreseeable future. Despite the fact that a good part of the doctors believe that the next waves of COVID will be more benign, the risk of burn-out emerges as a trend that a relative majority believes will be heightened or continue as is now and only less than a third of the doctors believe that it will tend to reduce.

Virtual healthcare

Regarding telemedicine, the most frequent perspective is to imagine its continuity, but at a lower level than during the pandemic.

Today, 82% of consultations in the region are face-to-face and two thirds of physicians say that in the future they would only use telemedicine in a few cases or that it is not applicable to them at all. However, 3 out of 10 imagine a hybrid model where they will switch face-to-face with virtual healthcare.

Applications specialized in virtual medical care still account for a marginal portion of consultations (only 3%) with the most common forms of telemedicine being the use of telephone, email, chats or in some cases the videoconferencing platforms that are most commonly used by the general population.

In our opinion, the data suggests that telemedicine will accelerate much more slowly than the dizzying pace it showed during the pandemic, but it is far from disappearing, defining a permanent niche in medical care for some specialties, types of patients or methods of consultation organized by healthcare organizations.

Its expansion is facilitated by the fact that professionals see the growth in the use of electronic prescribing as a firmly established trend.

Virtual fatigue and the craving for in-person connections

In any case, any use of telemedicine will coexist with a strong preference for face-to-face relationships. Consistently what we see across the board is a certain fatigue with excessive virtual communication and an appetite for the return of face-to-face relationships at all levels.

For example, webinars have multiplied in all professions and medical training has been no exception, yet while nearly 3 out of 10 doctors would like to receive more invitations to webinars, an equivalent proportion would prefer to receive fewer or none. This contrasts with the interest for in-person medical conferences, of which 6 out of 10 would like to receive more invitations and only 1 out of 10 would like to receive fewer or none.

Likewise, we see that a majority of doctors recognize the sharp drop in visits from representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, but 70% of those interviewed are quite or very interested in receiving these visits.

This does not mean that they want to discontinue non-face-to-face relationships, but rather that face-to-face visits emerge as an indispensable factor that they imagine should be part of the future relationship between doctors and the industry.

Half call for a return to a format based primarily on face-to-face relationships and an almost similar proportion favor a format that combines face-to-face and virtual ones. Only 6% choose a future made exclusively of virtual connections.


In summary, the pandemic has profoundly modified the landscape of the healthcare system and the relationship between its participants.

Undoubtedly, the current situation shows a reversal of several trends, while others seem to persist further, and the challenge for the different actors will be how to better integrate hybrid relationship models that can take advantage of the benefits of technology with the face-to-face approaches generally preferred by healthcare professionals all over Latin America. This is valid for patient care but also for prescription, training, and interaction with the pharmaceutical industry.

The evidence provided by this survey strongly supports the need for policies aimed at mitigating the multiple consequences of the pandemic on the population health. This goes beyond the efforts – very necessary but also insufficient – of COVID vaccination and treatment, to include support to the healthcare system in order to deal with low adherence, late diagnosis, post covid syndrome, increased restrictions to healthcare access and emotional vulnerabilities.

Finally, the data also reinforce evidences of the increased burn out risk in the profession and the need to create specific policies aimed at “caring for those who care for us” as an urgent priority.


* We want to acknowledge and thank Forsta for the support with the technology used for this project

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Fine supports Intellus Compliance Training


FINE has participated in an expert panel about Compliance run by Intellus Worldwide. 

Intellus Worldwide is the leading association for healthcare insights and analytics, including global manufacturers and service providers within pharmaceuticals, biotech, medical device and diagnostics.  

The podcast featured a number of experts including, Lisa Courtade, Organon, Jessica Santos, Kantar Health, Cedric Degraeuwe, QualWorld and Diego Casaravilla, Fine Research Latin America, and was moderated by Heidi Boyle, Director of Events & Education of Intellus Worldwide

The detailed topics included:

Trends and regulations to watch

How to handle disclosure and international data transfer

How to innovate within the guardrails

Knowledge insights professionals should have to be conversant, and safe

Podcasts aims to help  researchers to approach compliance issues in upcoming projects with confidence, and feel more fully prepared to engage with clients or internal stakeholders.

Intellus Members can access the full discussion via the Virtual Learning Center.


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FINE participates in an EphMRA panel about COVID-19 impact



June 2021

EphMRA, the European Pharmaceutical Market Research Association kindly invited, Florencia Rojo, Account Manager at FINE to take part of an expert panel about COVID-19 impact on primary research in emerging economies.

The panel was moderated by Stephen Potts, Director at Purdie Pascoe (UK) and while Florencia exposed about Brazil and rest of Latin America, Asebhor Ebhomenye (ABA Healthcare, Nigeria) did the same with Africa, and Johana Ruszczak-Zbikowska (IQVIA Poland) presented her views on  the situation in Eastern Europe.

While each region have its unique challenges, all participants agreed on how the accelerated growth of digital alternatives has become a viable and successful solution for most market insights data collection requirements.

For more details about EphMRA webinars please check

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The future is here: Esomar Director General, Finn Raben, interviews Fine´s CEO


June 2021

Esomar, the largest world association of research professionals, is running  a few interviews with leading researchers all over the world in a series of episodes called “THE FUTURE IS HERE”. 

The proposal is to “Join ESOMAR’s Director General as he explores with business leaders from around the world how the future of business is being shaped by COVID-19 and how they prepare for a post-COVID-19 world. How are companies preparing for the digital transformation?”

The first episodes included interviews with Joris Hiusmanm, (Managing Partner of SKIM), Chris Farquhar (Managing Partner of Cimigo) and Joy Uyanwune (Global Marketing Director at Decision Support).

On June 4th, Esomar released EPISODE 4, in which Finn Raben, ESOMAR´s Director General interviewed Diego Casaravilla, CEO of FINE.

The discussion covered a number of topics including:

– How long will it be before we get “back” to pre-Covid levels of business?

– Change in client demands and expectations

– Meaning of the “age of platforms” in our industry

– Changes to team and business work practices

– Advice to researchers and young entrepreneurs when looking at LatAm

Check the full interview in YouTube

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LatAm HCPs trust that vaccines will put an end to the pandemic putting more confidence on those that provide locally a credible evidence story






On March 31, 2021 during the ESOMAR event Transformation and Trust, Fine released the latest results of COVID-19 Tracking study.

This is part of an initiative launched in March 2020 and that has involved responses of over 13,000 doctors in 16 countries.

 The report of the 6th  wave which took place in March 2021 was based on a sample of  2451 doctors from Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and Chile and was focused in the vaccines.

The survey firstly details an evolution of HCPs main challenges showing that the drop in the number of patients seen, although relevant for many and still representing in average a 28% fall compared to pre-pandemic levels, is no longer the main challenge for most physicians as it was during 2020. In fact work overload surges as a growing challenge.

Their main current concern remains the risk of infection in the context of interaction between physicians and patients. This concern is consistent with the fact that almost 60% have been in contact with infected patients in the past week and that the incidence of COVID-19 in the medical population is high and many times the proportion of the general population (by the survey date 21% of the participating HCPs were diagnosed with COVID), especially in Mexico where 30% of professionals report having been infected.

At the time of the survey (March 9-10), 73% of physicians in the region reported having received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 43% both doses. This level of vaccination coverage of professionals with at least one dose, was higher in Chile, Brazil and Argentina, while it barely covered about half of the professionals in Colombia and Mexico.

Physicians in LatAm are mostly confident that vaccines will put an end to the pandemic, considering that the evidence supporting them is solid and that the quality of the vaccines available in the region is similar to that of Europe and the United States.

In addition, half of physicians have strong confidence in the safety of vaccines, and the other half believe that although they are not completely safe, vaccination is still more beneficial for the population. Consequently 95% of physicians recommend vaccination to their patients.

Regarding the specific vaccine options, Pfizer’s vaccine clearly leads regionally followed by Astra Zeneca, Sputnik (strong in Argentina and Mexico, but marginal in Brazil and Chile),  Moderna, Janssen and Sinovac.

The main drivers that generate trust for the different vaccines were those that contributed to build locally a credible evidence story.  In other words the most trusted ones are those that show good results in phase three trials regarding safety, general effectiveness and effectiveness to reduce severe cases and mortality.

The ability to deal with new varieties seems to be les relevant, but this is likely to be affected by the fact that no vaccine is “owning” this attribute which highlights a potential risk scenario.

The made-in-label prestige and the manufacturer reputation are relevant but not always decisive and for instance Sputnik in Argentina or Sinovac in Chile get high trust levels even when they are rated comparatively lower in these prestige variables.

While trust in vaccines ranks high in general, confidence in governments and national vaccination plans is significantly lower.

Only 20% of physicians strongly or somewhat agree with the health policies in place. They collectively estimate that about half of the population would be vaccinated by the end of 2021 and that it would take about 20 months to bring the pandemic under control. The WHO COVAX program does not raise many expectations either.

Chilean physicians are significantly more optimistic than their peers in the region in their evaluation of health policy management, especially with regard to vaccination plans in which they are almost unanimously confident. They estimate that in 11 months the pandemic will be definitively under control in the country (is about half the time estimated by their peers in the region)  and that 77% of the population will be vaccinated by the end of the year.

 The survey also valued the role of other stakeholders, and stands out that HCPs values a positive role for the pharmaceutical industry in the context of the pandemic. An industry that traditionally had a more criticized image in polls seems to be revalued and 6 out of 10 doctors state that the development of vaccines has contributed to improving their image of the industry, especially of Pfizer, Astra Zeneca and Jannsen.


Click HERE to learn more about FINE or access other reports 


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Fine had an active role at ESOMAR first flagship 2021 event

On March 31st 2021, ESOMAR run its first 2021 flagship event which was called Transformation and Trust.

ESOMAR based in Amsterdam, is a not-for-profit organisation that promotes the value of market, opinion and social research and data analytics. It was created in 1947 and is currently the largest and most renowned organization of this kind in the Insights Industry.

Fine´s CEO Diego Casaravilla, integrated the event advisory board jointly with leading professionals from all around the globe: Omar G. Aragon (PepsiCo, Mexico), Fiona Blades (MESH Experience, UK), Maya Kantak (Disney Parks Experiences and Products, USA), Gigi Leung (Johnson & Johnson Vision, Japan) and Jennifer Lin (Answer Global, Taiwan).

Diego and Omar (Pepsico) chaired the LatAm episode which included presentations of Coca-Cola, Kimberly Clark, Netquest or Mercado Senior.

In one of the sessions, Florencia Rojo (Accounts Director, Fine) presented jointly with Andrey Mendez (Director Southern Cone, Ipsos Healthcare) a summary of the results of the last wave of Fine COVID-19 Tracking Study with focus on how trust is built around vaccines and other key insights. You can watch the presentation given at the Transformation and Trust event (in Spanish) by clicking here.

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