Columbia Clinic signed a cooperation agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim


SHANGHAI, Aug. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — On August 3rd, 2021, Columbia China, signed a cooperation agreement with Consanas Rehabilitation, brand of Boehringer Ingelheim. The agreement will allow both parties to complement each other’s medical resources and to carry out in-depth collaboration on talent exchange, which effectively feeds into healthcare delivery and further improvement in the management of rehabilitation industry. The Shanghai Kaiyi Bainuo Clinic is the designated institution for the collaboration, where physicians and rehabilitation therapist from Consanas provides regular outpatient service for stroke patients, offering more convenience for stroke patient in Shanghai. In the future, besides the Rehabilitation Medicine Department of Shanghai International Medical Center (SIMC) in Pudong, patients can also enjoy German rehabilitation up to the same standard at Shanghai Kaiyi Bainuo Clinic in Jing’an District. The collaboration marks another major milestone of Boehringer Ingelheim German rehabilitation model localization in China.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Seventy percent of the stroke patients need follow-up care and treatment
Post-stroke rehabilitation treatment should be applied as soon as possible

Cerebral stroke, or “stroke” for short, is caused by sudden rupture of the blood vessels in the brain or blockage of blood vessels that denies the brain inflow of blood. The onset is very rapid and critical. According to the latest Global Burden of Disease Study (Global Burden of Disease Study, GBD), the overall lifetime prevalence rate of stroke in China is 39.9%, the highest in the world, indicating that for every five people in China, two will experience stroke in their lifetime. If not treated in time when a stroke happens, patients may be left with sequelae pertaining to their senses, motions, cognition, speech, emotion and mental soundness. About 70% to 80% of patients require further care due to the loss of the ability to take care of themselves in life[1], which adds heavy burden to the patients, the families and the society.1

Stroke rehabilitation treatment is recommended by domestic and foreign guidelines as one of the most effective methods to reduce disability rate and to prevent post-stroke complications. Within 24 hours after onset, rehabilitation treatment can be applied provided that normal signs are demonstrated, which can minimize the chance of disability among patients, thus ensuring better prognosis[2].

“At present, patients and their families are paying more attention to the first aid of stroke, however the awareness of rehabilitation after the treatment of acute stroke is yet to be raised. Since rehabilitation process requires high-level of cooperation from families and patients, only 11.5% of stroke patient have received rehabilitation treatment within one week since the onset and 42.4% of stroke patients haven’t received any rehabilitation treatment since onset[3].” Said Professor Zheng Jiejiao, chairman of the Elderly Rehabilitation Committee of Chinese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine “Rehabilitation is a long-term process and is affected by factors such as relevant national policies, medical service quality and technological progress within the industry on top of patients and their families. The ultimate purpose of rehabilitation treatment is to improve the quality of life of patients. Currently in Shanghai, rehabilitation physicians and therapists combined represents 2.54% of the total and for every 100,000 people there are only 3.28 rehabilitation physicians and therapist, which indicating a huge gap compared with the international standards that stand at 10% -20% and 50 / 100,000 people respectively.”

The German rehabilitation model opens a new chapter of rehabilitation treatment in China

The National Health Commission and other line ministries have been advocating for the strengthening of stroke prevention and control and have been calling for attention to stroke rehabilitation management. A series of policies and guidelines on building a triple-tiered rehabilitation healthcare system have been announced which encompasses the development of neurology, neurosurgery and rehabilitation medicine departments centering around cerebrovascular diseases, rehabilitation hospitals and rehabilitation centers as well as community hospitals and home rehabilitation capacity. In June 2021, the National Health Commission, together with other line ministries and commissions, issued the Notice on a Comprehensive Plan to Strengthen the Prevention and Treatment of Stroke to Reduce Millions of New Disabilities and the Opinions on Accelerating the Development of Rehabilitation, which provided important strategic guidelines for stroke rehabilitation in China. As average life expectancy in China continues to rise, there is increasing and diversifying healthcare needs among the middle-aged and elderly people, which cannot be satisfied by the limited capacity of rehabilitation departments of general hospitals.

Ms. Genevieve Faith, Head of Healthcare Solutions, Boehringer Ingelheim China, said, “The collaboration with Columbia Clinic (Shanghai Kaiyi Bainuo Clinic) can provide high-quality Total Stroke Solution (TSS) for more patients and improve the treatment accessibility for stroke rehabilitation patients in China. Meanwhile, outpatient services can better help patients to achieve secondary prevention. The patient-centered corporate values and the business philosophy of providing high quality personalized health care of both Boehringer Ingelheim and Columbia Clinic are the cornerstones of this collaboration, which is a perfect combination of internationally advanced medical services and the German rehabilitation model. It will create professional and personalized medical, rehabilitation and nursing services in the field of rehabilitation, and help more Chinese stroke patients improve their health status and quality of life. In the future, we aspire to work with all parties to actively respond to national policies, so that Chinese stroke patients can access personalized stroke rehabilitation treatment programs up to German standards as soon as possible, thus improving the quality of life of stroke patients and their families as well as alleviating the burden on the society.”

Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to improving the stroke management in China with concrete actions. On March 2018, the brand Consanas is introduced to China by Boehringer Ingelheim along with the German rehabilitation model which had been contested for over a century. Driven by the innovative spirit and the patient-centered rehabilitation philosophy, Boehringer Ingelheim is able to have created, within just three years, a “China Consanas Model” that originated from Germany and tailored to China.

At the rehabilitation medicine department of Shanghai International Medical Center supported by Consanas, 76% of the patients started rehabilitation treatment within six months after stroke. In March this year, at the third anniversary since its foundation, Consanas and Shanghai International Medical Center (SIMC) jointly released the 2019-2020 Rehabilitation Clinical Achievements and Quality Report. As an annual report for the second consecutive year, it indicates that stroke patients who received rehabilitation within six months after stroke enjoyed sound recovery. Consanas expert team believes that only when clinicians fully understand and practice the “early rehabilitation”, can the patients achieve effective functional recovery. Furthermore, even patients who failed to receive timely rehabilitation treatment after the acute phase can still benefit from professional rehabilitation treatment in the second and third stages. Therefore, it’s never be too late for stroke patient to receive rehabilitation treatment.

Setting a new benchmark for stroke rehabilitation
Improving quality of life for patients

The success of the “China Consanas Model” has set a good example for the localization of world class rehabilitation treatment concept in China. Columbia has also been running successful operations for 9 years in the Chinese market. Columbia Clinic China business scope covers fields like hospitals, clinics and elderly care. Ms. Tan Bee Lan, President and Group CEO of Columbia China said: ” Our collaboration with Consanas will focus on the following aspects: first, we will leverage on medical resources from both sides and develop in-depth collaborations in talent exchange. We will work together to build a one-stop stroke rehabilitation management platform to better connect patients with rehabilitation therapists and / or rehabilitation nurses and other rehabilitation resources. Second, Columbia China and Consanas will promote the application of the “China Consanas Model” within the stroke rehabilitation space. We will also drive efforts to improve the clinical skills of rehabilitation therapists and rehabilitation nurses along with optimal and innovative rehabilitation process. In the future, both parties will continue to explore ways and means to jointly respond to relevant national policies, to build an ecosystem connecting the rehabilitation industry, to contribute to the triple-tiered rehabilitation medical system and to create a win-win environment for patients and all parties.” 

With growing healthcare awareness and affluence, there is a rising demand for high quality health service among the general public. China currently faces both challenges and opportunities with stroke prevention and rehabilitation management. Driven by national policies and callings from clinical experts, inter-sector cooperation will intensify and businesses like Boehringer Ingelheim and Columbia Clinic will assume more social responsibilities. Dr. Pavol Dobrocky, General Manager of Human Pharma Boehringer Ingelheim Greater China, said: “As a leader deeply rooted in the field of stroke, Boehringer Ingelheim integrates internal and external resources to provide the patient centric Total Stroke Solution (TSS) that covers the whole patient journey from prevention to detection, treatment, rehabilitation and secondary prevention to improve patient care in stroke. We help stroke patients and their families overcome difficulties and challenges they meet at every stage of the disease through innovative treatment and solutions, reducing stroke morbidity, mortality and disability, and ultimately reduce the economic burden on family and society and contribute to Healthy China 2030.”

[1] Zhang Tong, Guidelines for rehabilitation treatment of stroke in China(2011 Full Edition)/Chinese Journal of the Frontiers of Medical Science (Electronic Version) 2012,4(06):55-76;

[2] 55-8.Prognosis after stroke /Article in German; Paal G;Abteilung für Neurologie, Stadt. Krankenhauses München-Harlaching.

[3] Asakawa T, et al. Lancet, 2017, 390(10090):121.