Taking on the Diabetes Crisis in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador with Amp Health
Mark Lane
Oct 4, 2023

The Northpine Foundation and Amp Health are proud to announce a transformative investment of $250,000 in Amp Health’s innovative approach to combating the diabetes crisis in rural Newfoundland & Labrador.

Newfoundland & Labrador faces a dire situation, with 35% of its residents battling diabetes or prediabetes. Barriers to care, especially in rural areas, exacerbate the problem. More than 25% of residents lack access to a family doctor, making prevention and management even more challenging. With one of the highest per capita healthcare spending rates in the country, the province still grapples with alarming diabetes rates and poor health outcomes.

“In Newfoundland & Labrador, we have a prevailing paradox: high costs to the healthcare system, but with results that unfortunately, don’t match up. This investment signifies our commitment to addressing this pressing issue and improving lives,” said Mark Lane, Impact Director Rural Newfoundland & Labrador at the Northpine Foundation.

Amp Health will receive support from the Northpine Foundation over the next two years, with a mission to reduce the transition rate from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes for individuals living in rural areas of the province through their product Melli, an innovative SMS-based diabetes prevention program drawing from the CDC Diabetes Prevention Protocol and the expertise of Dr. Michael Vallis, renowned behavioral psychologist at Dalhousie University and part of the Amp Health support team.

“Lack of access to healthcare professionals, inability to provide frequent follow up due to resource limitations, and distance to travel to access healthcare have been barriers that reduce the ability of existing health services to meet the need to support sustained behaviour change (healthy eating, physical activity, medication adherence), the backbone of chronic disease management. The behavioural sciences can be leveraged using technologies developed by Amp Health to reach more people more easily and to provide continuity of support between visits to a healthcare provider. Amp Health is positioned to fill a gap in the effective prevention and management of diabetes and obesity”.

The success of this SMS-based diabetes prevention pilot program will allow Amp Health to develop and pilot Minimol, a comprehensive application that offers personalized behavior change support coupled with real-time health data and machine learning.

We are excited to receive this investment from the Northpine Foundation for our pilot program in rural Newfoundland & Labrador. This support will allow us to meet individuals where they are in their health journey and have impact on long term health more quickly,” said Mandy Woodland, CEO at Amp Health. “This reflects the importance of long-term investment in preventative healthcare and can

transform the current trajectory of the diabetics epidemic, creating positive impact on individual participants, communities, and the entire province.”

The investment signifies a pivotal step towards enhancing healthcare outcomes in Newfoundland & Labrador, not only reducing healthcare costs but also keeping more individuals healthy and productive, bolstering the provincial economy. The potential lifetime cost savings for the provincial healthcare system could be as high as $69,000 per participant underscoring the profound impact this initiative can have.

Mark Lane, Impact Director Rural Newfoundland & Labrador at the Northpine Foundation added, “When we consider our provincial healthcare’s massive costs and middling outcomes, these savings are a critical policy priority. This initiative also aligns perfectly with our goal to improve healthcare access in underserved areas in our province. We’re excited to partner with Amp Health on this journey.”

Amp Health is actively forging partnerships and seeking investors to expand access to rural and remote areas across the province and eventually, around the world. Their ambitious vision includes offering the solution at low or no cost to patients, mirroring successful models in other regions.

Learn more about Amp Health here and see the Northpine Foundation’s investments in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador here.