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by Medtronic LABS

India, The Philippines

Medtronic LABS and reach52 Partner to deliver new diabetes and hypertension program in the Philippines

Medtronic LABS has collaborated with reach52 to launch a new diabetes and hypertension program in rural Philippines. The ‘Padayon’ (meaning ‘Keep Moving Forward’) program empowers patients to continue to live their lives through access to the quality testing, medicines and coaching support they need.

The program will be piloted in Pototan in the Western Visayas, starting with local screening sessions for undiagnosed patients and the engagement of existing diabetic patients in these rural communities. Patients can then enroll in an affordable 12-week program, through which they will receive blood glucose monitoring, affordable medicines through reach52’s marketplace service and coaching from trained health coaches. The coaching program will combine live group sessions, digital learning and peer support to motivate lifestyle change, promote medication adherence and prevent complications. After the initial 12-week program, patients can continue to subscribe to monthly medications and management support through Facebook Messenger. The new service is supported by the Pototan Municipal Health Officer and reach52’s teledoctor service.

In these rural populations, there is a lack of education and diagnosis of diabetes and hypertension. As a resident in the areas, you typically have to travel long distances to expensive private clinics for basic tests for glucose, HbA1C and cholesterol. A comprehensive panel costs approximately $50 in a private hospital or outpatient diagnostic centre, 10 times more than the average daily earnings of a community resident. The Padayon program will provide affordable, accessible testing and medicines in the community, as well as coaching to address education gaps. The pilot objectives are to deliver measurable changes in patients’ Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS), HbA1C and systolic/diastolic blood pressure, as well as knowledge of diabetes and hypertension management.

The Padayon program brings together Medtronic LABS’ and reach52’s capabilities to deliver greater impact for underserved patient populations. In 2019, Medtronic LABS launched a program called ‘Prerna’ (meaning ‘Inspiration’) in India that provides group-based comprehensive care for people living with or at risk of type II diabetes and hypertension. Methodologies and content from Prerna have been adapted for the new Padayon program in the Philippines with reach52.

reach52 is social enterprise delivering healthcare for the 52% of the world who can’t access it. By equipping rural workforces with offline-first mobile apps and partnering with the public and private sector, they establish health systems and affordable services in rural regions across South and South East Asia. To improve diabetes and hypertension care in rural Philippines, reach52 already provides access to affordable medicines through its reach52 marketplace service as well as health worker capacity building and outreach programs.

Medtronic LABS is a social business focused on expanding access to healthcare for patients, families and communities across the world. They design and build healthcare delivery models with and for communities that integrate digital and product technologies across the care continuum. Over the next decade, Medtronic LABS is committed to achieving measurable health outcomes for over 10 million patients with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like hypertension and diabetes. This ambitious goal is not possible without creative partnerships.

As Rich Bryson, reach52’s Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, comments “Patients in rural regions in the Philippines often can’t get access to testing and education in these disease areas. Partnering with Medtronic LABS has enabled us to deliver the integrated care that patients really need – regular testing, affordable medicines and practical coaching all together in one accessible service. It’s not a one-off program. ‘Padayon’ helps patients keep their diabetes and hypertension under control over the course of their lives”.

Anne Stake, Head of Strategy and Innovation at Medtronic LABS, adds “High-value partnerships are more important than ever before, and our work with reach52 shows how this might be done efficiently and effectively.  The Padayon program combines best in-class technology, a tested curriculum based on behavioral science, and excellence in local implementation to help patients achieve health outcomes.  ‘Padayon’ paves the way for future collaboration as we work towards our shared goal of improving health outcomes for underserved patients”.

The findings and learnings of this pilot will be reported at the end of 2020, with plans to roll out the ‘Padayon’ service across the Philippines and beyond in 2021.

By Rich Bryson and Anne Stake

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