The Novartis Foundation works with city authorities and other partners to co-design and implement data-driven responses to improve cardiovascular population health and narrow health inequities. Cardiovascular disease is the world's leading cause of death – taking almost 18 million lives per year, with three-quarters of these deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries.

We built and validated our cardiovascular population health approach, called CARDIO4Cities, in cities across continents. After just 1-2 years of implementation in São Paulo (Brazil), Dakar (Senegal) and Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia), the approach dramatically improved hypertension control, the prime risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

In each city, we help authorities use the power of data to make better decisions, tap into emerging HealthTech innovations, and use the Broadband Commission’s roadmaps on virtual health and care, and AI maturity in health, to identify where to best invest resources to deploy impactful digital health solutions.

The Novartis Foundation is now working with the city authorities of São Paulo, Dakar, and Ho Chi Minh City to extend the CARDIO4Cities approach from hypertension control toward overall cardiovascular risk reduction in urban populations.

Further, as part of CARDIO4Cities, the Novartis Foundation and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute are working with city authorities in São Paulo to develop a data- and evidence-based tool to help decision-makers assess the impact and cost-effectiveness of interventions before they are implemented. Once validated in São Paulo, the simulator will be adapted to additional locations.

Ho Chi Minh City is the first city to deploy a digital, AI-powered virtual screening and management service for cardiovascular population health. The Song Khoe Healthy Living App enables the integration of data from cardiovascular risk screening and management into the health information systems of the health facilities covered by the initiative.