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Medtronic Announces Ongoing Initiatives to Address Health Equity for People of Color Living with Diabetes

April 7, 2021

Medtronic plc today announced its ongoing commitment to health equity for people of color living with diabetes.

The company committed investments in partnerships with the American Diabetes Association® (ADA) and T1D Exchange, as well as additional research efforts, to better understand and address these disparities.

Details of each partnership, as well as additional activities conducted by Medtronic, include the following:

  • Health Equity Now Initiative with ADA – Medtronic will provide a $1 million sponsorship over the next three years to ADA’s Technology Access Project (TAP), which aims to provide access to and availability of diabetes technology regardless of gender, race, income, or location. TAP is a part of ADA’s Health Equity Bill of Rights #9, which envisions a future for all people with diabetes to have equal rights to prioritize their health, and equal access to diabetes management resources and treatments.

    “Health equity in diabetes is central to our mission, and unfortunately, for many the latest technological advancements to support living with the disease are not accessible due to insurance barriers and high out-of-pocket costs,” said Charles D. Henderson, chief development officer, ADA. “We thank Medtronic for supporting our tireless work to break down obstacles to treatment, and hope that one day everyone with this disease has the opportunity to benefit from the important advancements that have been made in diabetes management.”

  • Reducing Inequities in Diabetes Management with T1D Exchange  This partnership supports an upcoming quality improvement pilot to review data collected from in-person and telemedicine visits to determine baseline diabetes technology use rates among people of color (African Americans, Hispanic, and Asian) who tend to have lower adoption, and test interventions to determine their effects in technology adoption. Results will be used to develop and implement the ‘T1D Equity Framework’ with the goal of increasing education, fostering a shared decision approach, and improving adoption of diabetes technologies for people of color.
  • “As we continue to build the largest diabetes data platform in the United States, partnerships with like-minded companies, such as Medtronic, allow us to use our data to better understand and improve quality of life for people living with this disease,” said Dave Walton, chief executive officer, T1D Exchange. “Patient education and access continue to drive the work we do, especially when it comes to ensuring people of color are receiving access to vital technology, resources, and support.”
  • Investigator-Initiated Research: “A Feasibility Study of Novel Combined Intervention for Blood Glucose Management in Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Among African American Patients” Medtronic is supporting this NIH-funded study by providing advanced hybrid closed-loop insulin pump technology and training for the project. The study aims to improve glycemic control in high-risk African American youth with type 1 diabetes using Medtronic insulin pump technology, paired with frequent home telehealth visits conducted with a dedicated diabetes educator. The study is led by Dr. Stuart Chalew of the Department of Pediatrics at the Louisiana State University School of Medicine and the Children’s Hospital of New Orleans. The project will evaluate changes in mean blood glucose, HbA1c levels, glycemic variation, as well as the quality of life, and program adherence. Results are expected in 2022.

“Underlying barriers to health equity – including awareness, access, trust, bias and affordability – are unfortunate truths that exist in the U.S. healthcare system. Our work in this area seeks to not only bring awareness to these issues but also to partner to get to the root of these problems, and course-correcting,” said Sean Salmon, executive vice president and president of the Diabetes business at Medtronic. “As a medical device manufacturer, we have the responsibility to help reduce health inequities within communities of color by ensuring they are granted the same access to technologies that may help them better manage their disease.”

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