In 2014, Medtronic Foundation and its partners, including Abt Associates, launched HealthRise. The goal of the five-year global effort was to expand access to care for cardiovascular disease and diabetes among underserved populations in Brazil, India, South Africa and the United States. Nine demonstration projects in the four countries tested various models to meet two objectives: 1) increased detection of hypertension and diabetes and 2) improved disease management and control through integrated, community-based care delivery.
HealthRise tailored the programs to local conditions and included many variations and unique innovations. Most programs, however, featured some version of the following main elements: community screening, health worker training, household visits, health facility-based/point-of-care diagnosis and treatment and peer support groups.
Among the project’s impacts, HealthRise:
- Screened nearly 65,000 previously undiagnosed people for hypertension and/or diabetes.
- Identified 9,004 cases of previously undetected high blood pressure and/or high blood sugar.
- Helped 3,139 patients achieve blood-pressure control and 1,034 patients achieve blood-sugar control.
HealthRise trained 60 percent of community health workers, or 3,637, on diabetes- and hypertension-related topics. Four sites held 710 support groups or non-communicable disease (NCD) meetings.
The final evaluation of the program noted that patients were empowered through improved knowledge of risk factors and detection. HealthRise also reached previously unserved patients by forging stronger links between underserved communities and the health system’s frontline health workers, and by engaging local governments and partners. From the outset, HealthRise and its partners worked to sustain the program through local communities, health systems integration and public-private partnerships.
The final report offers a universal set of considerations and recommendations for future efforts, including investment in frontline health workers, empowering patients through knowledge, targeting screening at the community level and strengthening health systems to improve health outcomes.