Philips Foundation announces year-long partnership with Singapore Heart Foundation to increase access to cardiac care

 
  • The year-long partnership, involving the funding of rehab infrastructure, CPR training and Philips AED equipment, and community outreach programs, aims to reduce the mortality rate of cardiac incidence in each patient by at least 50% and lower the risk of hospital readmission for individuals by 25%.
  • The Heart Wellness Centre’s location, in an area with a high number of elderly in the lower income group, reflects Philips Foundation’s commitment to alleviating health inequality.
  • The project will address the lack of patient participation in rehabilitation programs and adherence to medication, which have been reported to be two of the biggest barriers in secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.
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Nov 29, 2021
By the Philips Foundation team
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Philips Foundation and social services agency Singapore Heart Foundation (SHF) partnership to improve cardiac incident outcomes in communities by increasing access to quality healthcare. Besides supporting community care infrastructure with the funding of the newly-named ‘SHF – Philips Foundation Heart Wellness Centre’, the partnership will also increase AED access and CPR training for 500 individuals. The year-long program aims to reduce the mortality rate of cardiac incidences by at least 50% (compared to patients who do not participate) and lower the risk of hospital readmission for individuals by 25%.


Although rehabilitation is the foundation of secondary prevention, today, only 6% to 15% of eligible patients attend cardiac rehabilitation programs . The SHF – Philips Foundation Heart Wellness Centre, whose rehabilitation programs and operations will be funded by Philips Foundation in the coming year, will tackle this problem and drive higher participation in rehabilitation programs by enabling access in the heart of the community. It is one of only three such centres in Singapore providing a structured community-based Heart Wellness Programme, including Phase 3 and Phase 4 Cardiac Rehabilitation.

Against the backdrop of pandemic-induced social distancing, there is an urgent need to ensure continuity of care in the community

Mr. Vernon Kang

Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Heart Foundation

Located at Fortune Centre (190 Middle Road), the Heart Wellness Centre makes it convenient for cardiac patients and at-risk individuals to access the necessary care technology and advice from healthcare professionals for their daily needs. Activities at the Heart Wellness Centre include Phase 3 and Phase 4 cardiac rehabilitation activities – in which patients focus on intermediate maintenance through supervised exercises classes, independent exercise and receive education on sustained lifelong healthy heart habits – that are vital for optimum patient results. 


Mr Vernon Kang, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Heart Foundation, said, “Against the backdrop of pandemic-induced social distancing, there is an urgent need to ensure continuity of care in the community. Progress in the cardiovascular disease primary prevention space means that more patients now survive an initial heart attack or stroke, but there is a growing gap in addressing the increase in secondary cardiac event burden. The lack of patient participation in rehabilitation programs and adherence to medication are two of the biggest barriers in secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease today [1].”


The provision of an accessible wellness centre at Fortune Centre is especially important to  improve access to care for the elderly demographic in the community, who are often less mobile and more susceptible to secondary cardiac incidences. To help them adhere to their rehabilitation program and follow through with Phase 3 and Phase 4 cardiac rehabilitation, Philips Foundation has subsidized the program at the wellness centre by approximately 85%, reducing some of the current barriers that limit access to care. 

According to the World Health Organization, at least 400 million people around the world still lack access to essential health services. Through partnerships like these, we aim to make tangible progress in closing this gap

Margot Cooijmans

Director, Philips Foundation

“In line with Philips’ commitment to improving lives, this partnership aims to empower patients with access to better care for themselves. Through the heart wellness centre’s education initiatives, the AED roll-out and the CPR training, we want to equip individuals and communities with the knowledge and resources to reduce the mortality rates of cardiac incidences in Singapore,” said Ms Ivy Lai, Country Manager, Philips Singapore. “We are honored to implement this Philips Foundation project in Singapore with Singapore Heart Foundation, which has been instrumental in advancing the nation’s heart health over the past decades.”

 

Education and instilling confidence for action are also important aspects of this partnership. The Lancet Public Health [2] found that a series of public health interventions in Singapore cumulatively increased the likelihood of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by bystanders during out-of-hospital cardiac arrests nearly eightfold, and survival rates over threefold, underscoring the importance of such interventions to improve OHCA outcomes.


In this vein, this partnership will also see 20 locales in Singapore equipped with automated external defibrillators (Philips HeartStart AEDs) and 500 individuals trained in CPR over the course of the year to build ready and resilient communities that are better equipped to deal with occurrences of cardiac incidents.

 

“Philips Foundation was founded on the belief that innovation and collaboration can help solve some of the world’s toughest healthcare challenges for underserved communities across the globe, and we believe that this partnership does just that. According to the World Health Organization, at least 400 million people around the world still lack access to essential health services. Through partnerships like these, we aim to make tangible progress in closing this gap,” said Ms Margot Cooijmans, Director, Philips Foundation.

 

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Sources

 

[1] The Economist Intelligence Unit (2020). The cost of inaction: Secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease in Asia-Pacific

[2] Duke-NUS Medical School (2020). Bundled interventions improve bystander CPR, increase out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival

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