Improving Lives and Livelihoods With Better Healthcare in Chile
The Chilean company AccuHealth, a pioneer in virtual clinical hospitals, has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a patient-centric tele-monitoring service designed to improve the health and livelihoods of chronically ill patients with value-added medical care at an affordable cost. BCtA is a global initiative that encourages companies to fight poverty through inclusive business models. It is supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other international organizations.
AccuHealth’s inclusive business model aims to provide patients diagnosed with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their families with a better quality of life by combining an evidence-based telehealth monitoring service with big data, predictive modelling and data-mining. It allows hospitals and clinics to improve bed rotation, optimize patient control and increase the geographical coverage of specialists. At the same time, it allows insurance companies to better manage their clients’ health needs, reducing the incidence of medical emergencies and containing costs.
By 2020, AccuHealth aims to serve 200,000 chronically ill patients living at the base of the economic pyramid (BoP) in Chile who rely on the country’s public health system. By that time, Accuhealth aims to extend its operations to 500,000 patients in Mexico and 300,000 in Colombia. In 2016, the country will also introduce a free, preventative-health service intended to empower 1.6 million BoP patients and their families to better manage their health by 2020.
“AccuHealth takes pride in being recognized as an industry leader. Our innovative win-win-win business model provides vital, accessible information to medical teams, reduces costs for health insurers and offers poor patients a better quality of life,” said Xavier Urtubey, AccuHealth’s Chief Executive Officer. “People at the BoP are most in need of our proactive, preventative tele-monitoring service and we are pleased to be recognized by the Business Call to Action for this vital work.”
Health expenditures in Chile total US$ 20 billion or 7.7 percent of GDP. Demand for quality healthcare has grown quickly among the poorest Chileans as the result of a pandemic in non-communicable diseases (NCDs), particularly those caused by overweight and obesity, which claim 70 percent of women and more than half of men. Expenses related to NCD complications, such as amputations caused by diabetes and retinopathy blindness, impact household incomes along with a loss of productivity. However, studies have shown that NCD patients who receive early and adequate medical attention can enjoy the same quality of life as healthy people.
After a series of pilots, AccuHealth began attending to 2,000 NCD patients served by the national health insurance programme (FONASA) who were grappling with diabetes and hypertension – more than 40 percent of them were low-income patients. At its launch, FONASA’s Director projected that if the programme succeeded, it would be expanded to the rest of the public sector’s NCD population. Positive results have lead AccuHealth’s management to propose an expansion plan both within Chile and to Colombia and Mexico in 2015.
AccuHealth is also launching a free preventive service, which leverages tele-monitoring technology to involve patients’ family and friends support networks while establishing a healthcare focal point to support the entire network efforts.
AccuHealth´s remote monitoring is based on medical evidence and patients’ active involvement: it anticipates disease-related events and treats them according to each patient’s unique health profile, diagnosis and environment, promoting a better quality of life. This model focuses on transferring disease management to patients and providing 24/7 support to respond to crises.
“Good health and well-being is vital to the social and economic development of the world’s poorest people and AccuHealth’s inclusive business model is an example of how the private sector can successfully address those needs,” said Sahba Sobhani, BCtA’s acting Manager. “We are pleased to welcome AccuHealth to BCtA and look forward to their supporting continued growth and development impact.”
For further information:
Business Call to Action: Jeanne Finestone at firstname.lastname@example.org
AccuHealth: Xavier Urtubey at email@example.com
About Business Call to Action (BCtA): The Business Call to Action challenges companies to advance core business activities that are inclusive of poor populations and contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals. Worldwide, 137 companies, from SMEs to multinationals, have responded to the BCtA by making commitments to improve the lives and livelihoods of millions through commercially-viable business ventures that engage low-income people as consumers, producers, suppliers, and distributors of goods and services.
The Business Call to Action is a unique multilateral alliance between key donor governments including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), UK Department for International Development (DFID), US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, and theUnited Nations Development Programme — which hosts the secretariat — in collaboration with leading global institutions, such as the United Nations Global Compact, and the Inter-American Development Bank’s Opportunities for the Majority Initiative. For more information, please visitwww.businesscalltoaction.org or on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative.
About AccuHealth: AccuHealth is a Latin American Remote Monitoring Company headquartered in Chile and established in 2009. It is the pioneer of the Virtual Clinical Hospital, a unique Telehealth Business model (the first in Chile and South America) with the latest technology that provides remote care management with an emphasis on prevention and close monitoring of patients, particularly in hard-to-reach areas without access to traditional hospitals. The system collects both objective and subjective parameters: the patient wears a kit with centralized biometric sensors and has a tele-monitor that transfers the data to AccuHealth nurses and health specialists so that each patient receives individualized care.
AccuHealth founders have a strong background in telehealth projects in Latin America since 1998 and were the principal authors of the first benchmark “Telehealth in the Americas” book in 2004, published by the Organization of American States (OAS) and two UN agencies. The book is considered an obligatory reference in tele healthcare area.