New healthcare model suggests clever solution to cardiovascular care

Around 3.7 million Indians die each year due to cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately this number is expected to rise substantially and as a result The George Institute India and a range of key partners are deeply involved in developing innovative solutions to address this major health concern.

We know solutions must be effective, affordable and applicable across the large population. With this in mind, researchers at The George Institute recently designed and tested two interventions to arm non-medical health workers with tools to improve the management of cardiovascular risk factors.

“The idea behind these interventions was to utilise existing resources and build local capacity to specifically address cardiovascular risks”, said Acting Executive Director of The George Institute India, Professor Anushka Patel.

Researchers provided training including a step-by-step guide for non-medical health workers to identify high-risk patients and suggest appropriate medical therapy (which was prescribed via a medical professional). A health promotion campaign to increase the general public understanding of key health risks such as smoking, diet and physical activity was also deployed.

This clever solution has provided new hope for the future health of India, suggesting that a policy to up-skill non-medical healthcare workers in the area of diagnosis and management of cardiovascular disease could deliver significant benefits in the prevention of the leading causes of death in the country. Researchers recommend further research into the role non-medical healthcare workers can play in tackling chronic conditions.