Medtronic LABS and the Ministry of Health have announced the expansion of the Empower Health program. This is a landmark public-private partnership that addresses the most pressing chronic diseases, like high blood pressure and diabetes, throughout Kenya.

The partnership aims to reduce barriers to care for these diseases by using Medtronic LABS technology platform and community-based care model to better connect patients to their health information, clinical support and medication needs.

The initiative will increase Empower Health’s footprint to help more than 300,000 people across Kenya’s 47 counties, nearly doubling its current patient impact in the country. Currently, Medtronic LABS programming has supported the screening of 210,000 people and enrolled 40,000 persons living with diabetes and/or hypertension into care with 52 facilities engaged in the program’s deployment.

The program is expected to roll out across Kenya over the next three years and will fully integrate into the country’s digital health ecosystem. The expanded program will provide opportunities for screening, diagnostics, risk-stratification, and case management to help improve clinical outcomes sooner and more efficiently. Partners in the current program include the Ministry of Health, Medtronic LABS, World Diabetes Foundation, Kenya Defeat Diabetes Association, PATH, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Viatris, and the NCD Alliance of Kenya.

Empower Health was launched by the Ministry of Health of Kenya, the County Governments of Makueni, Kakamega and Nyeri, Medtronic LABS, and Kenya Defeat Diabetes Association in 2017 as a technology-enabled, patient-center model of care with a population health approach to chronic disease.

Medtronic LABS platform “SPICE”, a software technology designed to help community health managers manage chronic disease in place, serves as the backbone for the connectivity of the program.

The expansion was announced at a roundtable event that brought together numerous leaders to discuss treating chronic conditions in Kenya and how the partners can work together to support the national expansion of the program. Notable speakers at the event included Reuben Magoko, Chairman of the
Kenya Defeat Diabetes Association; Omar Ishrak, Former Medtronic CEO and Medtronic LABS board member; and multiple officials from the Ministry of Health such as Dr. Ephantus Maree, Head of Dept. of Non-Communicable Diseases, Dr. Mulwa Andrew, Ag. Director, Directorate of Preventive and
Promotive Health and Dr. Joseph Sitienei Head of Directorate Public Health Policy, M&E & Research, Ministry of Health.

Ruchika Singhal, President of Medtronic LABS, had this to say, “Our joint mission is to strengthen the health system here in Kenya by creating programming that addresses chronic diseases – which are a major public health concern here in Kenya,” said. Empower Health connects the healthcare system by providing custom technology to support community health workers, and partners with patients and local leaders to enable better patient outcomes. We’re proud that the program has been so successful thus far and are looking forward to expanding our impact to sustainably help more Kenyans access the healthcare and technology they need.”