For nearly four decades, Abbott has been making science-based nutrition products, innovative medical devices, diagnostics with advanced health technologies as well as branded generic medicines available to the people of Taiwan to help them live healthier and fuller lives. “Our 2030 Sustainability Plan is intentionally designing access and affordability into many of our life-changing technologies and products, and breaking down barriers that prevent people from getting the care they need,” says Arnaud Renard, Abbott Taiwan Affiliate Managing Representative and GM of Nutrition. The company’s contribution has demonstrated its role in the past several years in meeting the various unprecedented healthcare challenges facing this society.
The biggest challenge came from the sudden, global spread of COVID-19 two years ago. In response to the pandemic, Abbott developed a full range of tests, ranging from antigen, PCR antibody testing, and rapid testing (for home and professional use) to laboratory testing. Abbott’s tests have been instrumental in fighting the pandemic in Taiwan and elsewhere around the world. Abbott has been intently monitoring the COVID-19 mutations to ensure the tests can detect them, and the network of research, academic, and public health collaborators strategically placed around the world are actively sequencing viruses to look for the next viral threat, including COVID variants.
As soon as the Omicron variant emerged, Abbott’s dedicated team of scientists started working non-stop to evaluate it – and determined that the company’s rapid and PCR tests remained effective in detecting the mutation. The mission continues. Abbott keeps analyzing newer variants as they emerge around the world and remains vigilant in ensuring that their tests can detect them as support in combatting the pandemic.
A longer-term but no less severe challenge for Taiwan’s healthcare system is the rapid aging of the population. By 2025, 20% of Taiwanese are expected to be 65 or over, an age bracket that is particularly vulnerable to health risks. “For a long time one of Abbott’s top research focuses has been the correlation between nutrition and healthy aging and disease management, enabling the company to develop nutrition supplements based on medical evidence,” says Arnaud. Globally and in Taiwan, the company’s Ensure brand is the nutrition product most recommended by doctors to their patients to help prevent disease or facilitate recovery.
An example of Abbott’s research was a largescale 2019 study of nutrition in Asia that highlighted the need for the elderly to pay more attention to muscle health and immune systems. Afterward, Abbott launched the Stand4Strength Challenge in the Asia-Pacific to encourage people to self-examine their muscle loss status. To encourage a healthy lifestyle, Abbott developed partnerships with Real Madrid Football Club and the Real Madrid Foundation and also sponsors the world’s six biggest marathons, as well as the Sun Moon Lake Marathon in Taiwan.
In addition to address the aging issue, Abbott is well-known for its efforts to enable patients with chronic diseases to better manage their health and live fuller lives through its breakthrough medical devices and solid partnership with communities and other stakeholders.
Diabetes, which affects more than 2.2 million people in Taiwan – or nearly 10% of the population – is another area where Abbott makes a major contribution. For people with diabetes, nutrition with a tailored diet is the key. “Abbott cooperates with global and Taiwanese medical associations to address how to help people with diabetes to stabilize their blood glucose management, enhance their physical strength, and achieve better blood glucose control,” says Arnaud. This year, Abbott will be introducing a new sensing technology, the FreeStyle Libre 2 system, to the Taiwan market that enables glucose levels to be measured continuously by means of an arm patch. It eliminates painful finger pricks and is more convenient to know your glucose level to make lifestyle decisions.
In line with the trend to transform the delivery of healthcare through digital technologies, Abbott is also supporting the government’s drive to promote telemedicine to bring improved care to patients in rural or remote areas that may be several hours’ drive away from the nearest hospital. Since cardiovascular care is one of the company’s specialties, it has come up with a medical device that the patient can use from home to monitor heart conditions through arrhythmia detection, with the data then shared remotely with the physician through a smartphone connection.
Abbott holds diversified businesses and all of them are active in the Taiwan market. “With nearly 39 years in Taiwan and more than 450 local employees, Abbott is deeply rooted in this society,” says Arnaud. “As outlined in our sustainability plan, we intend to improve the lives of one in every three people on the planet by 2030. We are gratified that we can do our part to help the people of Taiwan manage their health and enjoy their lives.”
For more information, please visit Abbott Taiwan at: www.tw.abbott