Nov 27, 2023

Opening up software to expand access to healthcare

Medtronic LABS makes its digital health platform open source

Medtronic LABS accelerates access to healthcare in underserved communities around the world through technology. And now, the code behind its digital health platform SPICE is open source – making it available to anyone.

Since Medtronic LABS launched in 2013, the independent nonprofit with Medtronic funding has enrolled over 217,000 people in one million patientshealthcare and trained over 8,000 community health workers in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and the United States.

SPICE is a digital health platform embedded directly within health systems and government digital ecosystems. Making its code available to health system partners and governments is just one way LABS approaches global health collaboratively.

And it’s that spirit of collaboration that accelerates access in low-and middle-income communities.

How it works

adding value

At any given moment, community health workers are visiting patients in their homes and at community events, often in hard-to-reach places. Equipped with screening tools and SPICE, they screen patients for a range of conditions including hypertension, diabetes, malaria, and TB. 

If needed, they refer patients to the nearest health facility where they are immediately connected to care. Medical staff confirm the diagnosis, and enroll the patient in LABS’ programs, where they receive a personalized care plan.

The community health worker continues to follow up with patients directly based on their care plan. 

This approach – pairing health tech with strong partnerships and community care – is working. LABS has screened half a million people for non-communicable diseases since 2014.

And open-source technology means more organizations, health systems, and governments can access LABS’ health tech – connecting even more people to care.

“We offer a fundamentally new take on risk-based, data-driven community health, and we hope that by open sourcing our platform, our approach might be widely adopted,” said LABS’ Chief Strategy and Product Officer, Anne Stake.

Becoming open source also allowed LABS to receive the designation as a Digital Public Good by a multi-stakeholder United Nations-endorsed initiative that works to reduce barriers to the digitization of health systems.

“We made SPICE open source and applied to be a Digital Public Good to enable any health system innovator to use the technology and ultimately improve population health outcomes,” said Stake. 

Learn more about how Medtronic LABS is reimagining healthcare for communities around the world.


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