HCM CITY — As of March 2021, Vietnamese people living with diabetes could check their glucose level without having to make painful finger pricks following Abbott Vietnam's launch of FreeStyle Libre system.
It is the world’s leading glucose monitoring technology and the Prix Galien USA award winner in 2019 for Best Medical Technology, popularly considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in biopharmaceutical research.
The system brought by Abbott, a global healthcare leader, is a first-of-its-kind wearable sensor-based technology that gives people with diabetes in Việt Nam a better way to manage their condition.
The March 12 debut of its FreeStyle Libre, which has also become exceptionally effective in saving many, came around six weeks before Việt Nam was hit by a wave of COVID-19 in late April.
By December 27, Việt Nam had recorded more than 31,200 coronavirus-related deaths, of whom many had suffered from non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
Abbott’s March launch of FreeStyle Libre system has added Việt Nam to the list of more than 50 countries where the portfolio has revolutionized the way diabetes is managed globally, with 37 countries among those having full or partial reimbursement.
Abbott FreeStyle Libre helps diabetes patients manage glucose without pain or hassle.
It is not the first technology Abbott has introduced in Việt Nam as part of its efforts to find new answers to diabetes, one of most challenging chronic health conditions.
In 2020 and 2021, Abbott continuously launched the new and enhanced reformulation of Glucerna, designed to further improve insulin sensitivity and achieve glycemic control over four weeks.
International Diabetes Federation statistics show that 463 million adults aged 20-79, or one in 11 adults, live with diabetes worldwide, but nearly half of them are undiagnosed.
In Việt Nam, the number of people living with diabetes is forecast to jump by double by 2045, according to the World Diabetes Federation (IDF).
2020 World Changing Company of the Year
In honor of its innovative efforts to improve lives, Abbott was named by Fast Company as the 2020 World Changing Company of the Year.
Fast Company is a world's leading progressive business media brand. World Changing Ideas is one of Fast Company’s major annual awards programs that focuses on ideas and innovation that can lead to social benefit.
For Abbott, the award showcases the impact of technology and programs that have helped people around the world.
Abbott's Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder, a device to treat premature babies and newborns with an opening in their heart, medically referred to as patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), was named a finalist in Health and Wellness.
With Abbott's Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder, Irie Felkner’s doctors were able to successfully cure her patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).
PDA is one of cardiovascular diseases that, along with diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases, make up the four main types of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Among every 100 deaths in Việt Nam, NCDs are the cause of 77, with cardiovascular diseases accounting for 31 percent, cancer for 19 percent, and diabetes 4 percent, according to the Health Ministry
The Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder device was originally developed for adults. Abbott’s scientists and engineers have later worked to adapt this breakthrough technology to treat premature infants.
At no bigger than the size of a pea, the device closes holes in hearts of newborns, opening lifetimes of possibilities for the most vulnerable. It has now been made available in Việt Nam.
Việt Nam's national strategy for the prevention of NCDs for the 2015-2025 period stated that the key solutions were to promote prevention, strengthening primary health care to reduce risk factors, increasing the rate of detection and treatment of NCDs.
Abbott, which arrived in Việt Nam in 1995, has been moving in line with the country's strategy in dealing with NCDs.
Shaping the future of healthcare
Acting in line with Việt Nam's strategy for NCD prevention and continuously bringing in its latest innovations and technology are part of the longstanding commitment of the company established in 1888 to create sustainability in health, with the purpose of helping people living fuller lives through better health.
The company has developed a 2030 Sustainability Plan, with focus on innovating for greater access to life-changing technologies and breaking down barriers to health equity to reach more than 3 billion people by 2030, from 2 billion now.
Last month Abbott achieved the highest score out of 84 companies in its industry in the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment, also called the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), marking the ninth consecutive year that it has secured the top score in the Health Care Equipment and Supplies
Abbott has introduced a:care, a pioneering well-designed healthcare ecosystem that leverages digital tools and behavioral science to support both healthcare professionals (HCPs) and patients. The program has given doctors, pharmacists, caregivers and patients online and offline assets, thus empowering and supporting patients to take small, manageable steps to drive better treatment adherence and building lasting change and better, healthier life.
Launched in Việt Nam in 2019 and with the website opened shortly later, in 2020, a:care provides doctors and pharmacists access to tools and information to help patients better understand manage and monitor their condition. To date more than 55,000 HCPs globally and up to 5,000 HCPs from Việt Nam have attended a:care master classes, educating in the latest behavioral science techniques on how to best help people on their health journey.
In dealing with infectious diseases, Abbott has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic, developing 12 coronavirus tests in 12 months, including Panbio rapid antigen tests, RT-PCR tests and antibody serology tests.
Abbott is currently manufacturing more than 100 million COVID-19 rapid and PCR tests a month to meet increased need for testing around the globe.
Abbott’s Alinity m system is a fully integrated and automated molecular diagnostics analyzer which utilizes real-time PCR technology.
For people with HIV and hepatitis, the company has developed the DBS-dry blood spot test.
The DBS test helps ease access to HCV testing and HIV viral load testing for Vietnamese people in remote areas as the procedure is simple and requires no refrigeration.
It uses a few blood drops dried on filter paper before being shipped to a laboratory for analysis. This innovative testing method proves efficient especially in what is a tough time of fighting the pandemic.
Dealing with future pandemic threats
A sustainable future starts with health. As a leader in blood screening and infectious disease testing, Abbott created its Global Viral Surveillance Program almost three decades ago to monitor HIV and hepatitis viruses and identify mutations, which helps ensure the company's diagnostic tests stay up to date and enables researchers to proactively evaluate and solve infectious disease challenges.
In preparation for the future, it announced the Abbott Pandemic Defense Coalition in March, a first-of-its-kind global scientific and public health partnership dedicated to the early detection of, and rapid response to, future pandemic threats.
The surveillance program will now be a part of the Abbott Pandemic Defense Coalition.
By connecting global centers of excellence in laboratory testing, genetic sequencing and public health research, the program will identify new pathogens, analyze potential risk levels, as well as rapidly develop, and deploy new diagnostic testing and assess public health impact in real time.
As Abbott's innovations continue to help communities around the world, the company will continue to innovate across its businesses to create technologies that make a real difference to lives everywhere.— VNS