MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Medical device industry giant Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) launched a new 5-year program to provide care to patients in underserved areas around the world, putting $17 million into initiatives to improve healthcare at the community level.
The HealthRise project aims to assist patients in Brazil, India, South Africa and the U.S. with management of chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, starting by bringing in health experts to evaluate local care systems. The Medtronic Philanthropy initiative will then provide grants to community groups to bolster local health services for patients with chronic diseases.
"We know that global change in healthcare access begins on the frontlines of villages, towns and cities all around the world," Medtronic Philanthropy vice president Jacob Gayle said in prepared remarks. "We expect that, by convening experts and making resources more readily available, we will help fill a real need in the effort to strengthen health systems so that people at risk for, or living with a chronic disease, can live longer, higher-quality lives."
The project enlisted the help of a pair of global partners: Abt Associates will provide coordination on a global and country levels and the Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation will monitor the projects and provide updates to the global health community.
"To date, approaches to effectively address the rising burden of non-communicable diseases in underserved populations have not yet been widely implemented, shared or studied," IHME director Dr. Christopher Murray said. "The hope with HealthRise, is that through collaboration with local leaders and stakeholders, we may see the spark that jumpstarts community-level efforts to drive down the rates of NCDs while developing best practices that can be replicated in other geographies."
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