Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) today announced that it joined the Global Health Equity Network (GHEN) to drive change in health equity.
GHEN, a World Economic Forum, brings together the private and public sectors to address health equity issues. CEOs and business leaders comprise the forum focused on prioritizing action in organizational strategy and purpose.
“Addressing health equity is critical because more than half the world’s population lacks access to essential healthcare,” Medtronic said in a news release. “And the most challenging health issues disproportionately impact marginalized populations. But we recognize that no one solution or organization can achieve health equity alone; strategic partnerships are essential to accelerating this critical work.”
As part of the GHEN agenda, Medtronic signed the Zero Health Gaps Pledge. This pledge addresses progress in health equity across 10 areas. Committed organizations agreed to help drive progress across their workforce, companies and communities by 2050.
“At Medtronic, we know implementing people-first technology through access-enabling partnerships can be a profound equalizer, helping expand quality care and advance health equity,” said Medtronic CEO and Chair Geoff Martha. “Leveraging the unique power and assets of our GHEN colleagues, we’ll maximize our health equity efforts and collaborate to bring quality healthcare to more people.”
Details of Medtronic’s pledge
Medtronic’s announcement included three areas of its pledge. These areas cover understanding the root causes of health inequities, collaborating with communities and executing on strategies.
The company said it aims to constantly seek to understand how to address the causes and create a positive health equity impact. Medtronic LABS develops community-based, tech-enabled solutions with and for underserved patients for this purpose.
Collaboration includes identifying key health equity needs and identifying potential solutions. Medtronic plans to partner with local health systems, governments and NGOs to identify gaps in care. Finding these gaps can help to build health equity programs, it said. For example, the company’s Health Equity Assistance Program provided GI Genius modules to communities with low screening rates or where access isn’t currently available.
Medtronic’s pledge includes understanding health equity needs across its workforce, customer base, communities and ecosystem. This helps it make strategic decisions and use insights to inform choices from strategy to execution.
The company said financial stability and wealth hold links to better health outcomes. Medtronic made $2.7 billion in purchases from small and diverse-owned businesses in fiscal 2023. It also established multi-year, multi-million dollar efforts to provide access and opportunities to diverse talent. The company previously demonstrated these efforts through its Diabetes business.