Today, Fortune magazine announced its 2020 "Change the World" list, recognizing companies that are delivering shared value by making an important social or environmental impact through their core business strategy and operations. Fortune included Abbott on the list of leading companies, highlighting our work in Rwanda to expand access to quality primary care and diagnostic testing, and for advancing innovative testing to confront the COVID-19 pandemic.
Healthcare Closer to Home
Around the world, we look for ways to help people live better and healthier. One way we do this is by removing barriers to health that prevent underserved communities from getting the care they need. Our work to help bring care closer to home for people in rural Rwanda is a great example.
In 2019, we launched a collaboration between the Rwandan Ministry of Health and the nonprofit organization the Society for Family Health Rwanda (SFH Rwanda) to create second-generation health posts. This approach is an important step toward meeting Rwanda’s mission of providing access to care within a 30-minute walk for all citizens.
These health posts are designed to improve access to care in many ways. One area of focus highlighted by Fortune was prenatal care. In rural Rwanda, expecting mothers average significantly fewer prenatal check-ups than the eight recommended by the World Health Organization – so the program focused on maximizing the number of crucial services that can be delivered in a single visit. To help, Abbott bundled its rapid tests for syphilis, malaria, HIV and hepatitis B into one panel that requires only a single fingerstick of blood to get test results – an example of how localized innovation can help overcome barriers to care.
Equal attention was paid to establishing the health posts as effective, financially sustainable businesses, with training on clinical operations, administration and inventory management, and business skills.
Early results from the program show the second-generation health posts are attracting 50% more patients and providing expanded testing and better care – and all of the health posts are operating as successful, self-sustaining businesses as well. Based on these results, plans are underway to scale up the program for even great impact in the years ahead.
Taking COVID-19 Testing to a New Level
Fortune also honored Abbott for our rapid response to address the world’s most urgent health challenge: the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the launch of our newest test that was designed from the start for access and affordability. BinaxNOW™ is a fast, reliable and portable rapid test that Abbott will produce at mass scale to greatly expand access to testing to people who need it. Abbott is pairing this 15-minute, easy-to-use test with a mobile app, called NAVICA™, which works like a secure digital "boarding pass" that displays their results.
BinaxNOW is the latest in a series of tests that Abbott has launched to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. Our other tests address different needs in different settings: two molecular tests for high-volume testing in hospitals and labs; a point-of-care test that runs on a lightweight and portable instrument (the size of a toaster) that provides test results in 13 minutes or less at physicians’ offices, ERs and other urgent care settings; and two antibody tests to identify if a person was previously infected with the virus.
Through the end of August, Abbott has shipped approximately 72 million tests to 115 countries – all part of broader work across the company and in partnership with others to support communities worldwide with resources and technologies to fight this evolving threat.
Second Time Honored on Fortune's List
This is the second time Fortune has recognized Abbott on its "Change the World" list. In 2018, Abbott received this honor for our shared value program to help dairy farmers in India, providing them with training and resources to increase their incomes, while strengthening our nutrition supply chain.
Find Out More
For more information on the latest honor, see Abbott's profile on Fortune’s Change the World list.
For more on our collaboration in Rwanda, see our most recent story, Bringing Quality Care Closer to Home, and view videos and photos on our Rwanda feature page, Expanding Health Access in Rwanda.
For more on Abbott's efforts to advance COVID-19 testing and other work to address the pandemic, see our landing page, Our Contributions to the COVID-19 Response.
The BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Ag Card EUA has not been FDA cleared or approved. It has been authorized by the FDA under an emergency use authorization for use by authorized laboratories. The test has been authorized only for the detection of proteins from SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens, and is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostic tests for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.