The AI4HealthyCities Health Equity Network brings together data from the health and health influencing sectors and then applies AI to provide decision makers with insights about the main drivers of cardiovascular disease – the world’s number one cause of death and disability.1

We include data from health influencing sectors because health is influenced more by the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, and age, than by the quality of healthcare that they can access. This means that the data-driven insights generated by AI4HealthyCities could increase understanding about how heart health could be improved by modifying some of the underlying social, economic or environmental determinants of health. This includes factors as diverse as housing, access to healthy food, physical exercise or green space, education, professional occupation, pollution, migration, and the influence of structural racism and agism.

These insights could help stakeholders such as city authorities make more informed decisions about how to target health resources towards the interventions that could make the greatest impact on the greatest number of people. And, importantly, narrow existing heart health inequities – challenging the current reality where neighboring zip codes have drastic differences in their residents’ heart health.

The AI4HealthyCities Health Equity Network was created by the Novartis Foundation and developed in collaboration with Microsoft AI for Health. We are launching first in New York City, with more major cities to be announced soon. In New York City, the initiative is run in collaboration with the NYU School of Global Public Health; the public hospital system NYC Health + Hospitals; and the city health authorities.