Newsroom | 12 November 2014

Dialing Back Chronic Disease with Mobile Phones in India, Thanks to Cigna Foundation; $260,000 World of Difference grant awarded to Arogya World


Cigna Corporation
Gloria Barone, 215-761-4758

  • Creating mobile phone-based heart, stroke, kidney disease prevention program
  • Assisting in development: Emory University, Vignet Corporation
  • Following success of Arogya's diabetes prevention program
  • Addressing 50 percent of deaths from chronic disease in India

BLOOMFIELD, Conn. & BANGALORE, India, November 12, 2014 - The Cigna Foundation today awarded its largest new World of Difference grant for this year to Arogya World, an India-headquartered non-profit company dedicated to preventing non-communicable diseases through health education and lifestyle changes. Arogya, whose name in Sanskrit means "living without disease," will use the grant to create a mobile phone-based heart, stroke and kidney disease prevention program in India, where chronic disease is responsible for more than 50 percent of deaths.

"This program is critically important to the health and economy of India," said Nalini Saligram, Arogya World founder. She noted that half of India's population of more than one billion people is under age 25, making mobile technology a perfect way to reach them.

"Supporting a program that can help turn the tide on chronic disease in India and eliminate human suffering is a privilege for the Cigna Foundation," said David Figliuzzi, executive director of the Cigna Foundation.

Arogya World's first program, mDiabetes (mHealth1.0) was successful in helping approximately 150,000 people lead healthier lives. The Cigna Foundation grant will make possible the next phase of work, mHealth2.0, focusing on heart disease, stroke and kidney disease awareness and prevention. The grant will enable Arogya World to develop content, build a mobile app to promote healthy living, and measure program effectiveness. Arogya World's goal is to reach one million people in the next few years, and the new mHealth 2.0 program and the organization's Healthy Workplace program will play a significant part.

"We strongly believe in contributing to our society and take our corporate social responsibilities seriously. We are happy to partner with Arogya World. The initiative directly aligns with our approach to the health insurance market in India, focusing on our customers' health and well-being by proactively engaging with them to stay healthy and manage their health if they're living with chronic conditions such as diabetes," said Sandeep Patel, chief executive officer of Cigna TTK Health Insurance, Cigna's joint venture in India.

Arogya World is working with key implementation partners, including Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health in the United States to develop the message content, Vignet Corporation in the United States to develop the mobile app and mHealth technology system, and Madras Diabetes Research Foundation in Chennai, India, to implement a randomized control trial in the workplace setting. As part of the grant, Cigna Information Technology employees will assist Arogya in refining the mobile technology features for the disease prevention program.

The Cigna Foundation World of Difference grants provide support for improving children's wellness, senior care, women's health and health equity - the four social priorities for Cigna's corporate responsibility platform known as Cigna Connects.

About the Cigna Foundation

The Cigna Foundation, founded in 1962, is a private foundation funded by contributions from Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) and its subsidiaries. The Cigna Foundation supports organizations sharing its commitment to enhancing the health of individuals and families, and the well-being of their communities, with a special focus on those communities where Cigna employees live and work.

About Cigna

Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 85 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit

About Cigna TTK Health Insurance Company Limited

Cigna TTK Health Insurance Company Limited is a joint venture between the U.S. based global health service leader, Cigna Corporation and Indian conglomerate TTK Group. Cigna Corporation (NYSE:CI) maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions and has more than 80 million customer relationships throughout the world. TTK is widely recognized across India with a reputation built across eight decades for quality consumer products and services, the three letters "TTK" represents the corporate philosophy of the group- Trust, Transparency and Knowledge. Cigna TTK is a stand-alone health insurance company having a pan India presence, headquartered in Mumbai. Cigna TTK will offer differentiated health insurance solutions including health and wellness programs that support customers in making lifestyle changes and managing chronic medical conditions.

About Arogya World

Arogya World is a global non-profit working to prevent non-communicable diseases (NCDs) through health education and lifestyle change. The organization strives to change the course of chronic disease by building strategic partnerships and using innovative technology to implement scalable, sustainable programs with measurable impact. In India, Arogya World implements diabetes prevention programs in schools, workplaces, and the community. Since its founding in 2010, Arogya World has made three Clinton Global Initiative Commitments. To further advance prevention of NCDs, Arogya World India Trust has been set up as an affiliate in Bangalore.