WORLD HEART OBSERVATORY AIMS TO ADVANCE KNOWLEDGE AND IMPROVE HEALTH

GENEVA, 1 February 2022 – A one-stop source of data and knowledge to inform policy and inspire action across sectors has been launched today by the World Heart Federation (WHF).  Named World Heart Observatory, the global collaborative portal reveals how the burden of cardiovascular disease has changed over the years, what its global and regional impact is, what is causing the numbers to grow, and what is working in terms of prevention, treatment and care.

Building on the strength of WHF’s Members working together, and made possible with the support of the Novartis Foundation, the Global Burden of Disease and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), the  platform aims to engage a wide variety of actors. The challenge of tackling the world’s leading cause of death can be faced only by breaking down silos in healthcare, connecting experiences and evolving practice through data from diverse and robust international sources, across countries and sectors. The Observatory launch is the first step on the journey of sharing and analysing trends and data to implement the right policies to achieve cardiovascular health for everyone.

By 2019, cardiovascular disease (CVD) had affected 523 million people, almost double the figure of two decades earlier, with one in three CVD deaths occurring prematurely in people under 70 years of age. One of the unique aspects of the open-access platform is its ambitious aim to go beyond medical knowledge capture about disease prevalence and include the factors and policies that affect treatment, care access and outcomes.

“The World Heart Observatory is stepping up to the challenge and promise of the digital age that is revolutionising healthcare. The global data portal is created by, and for, an inclusive data community fighting CVD. We encourage partners and contributors to join with us and help change the course of health for all hearts,” said WHF’s President, Professor Fausto Pinto.

Another unique aspect of the World Heart Observatory will be its housing of work in other disciplines that intersect with, or impact, heart health. For example, the work of nutritionists, psychologists, computer scientists, and data analysts will be needed more than ever and made accessible. At the outset, data will be available through the ongoing collection, analysis and upload by WHF’s more than 200 Members around the world. Moreover, WHF is grateful to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) for their data provision ahead of the Observatory launch.

The World Heart Observatory has benefitted from the support of the Novartis Foundation, one of the first partners in this effort. As Dr Ann Aerts, Head of the Novartis Foundation recently said, “we have lots of data about cardiovascular health, but it is often so disconnected that using it for something meaningful becomes a real challenge.  We must be able to harness the data into something instructive that can help us understand the drivers of heart health and show patterns or emerging solutions.”

Science, research, advocacy, and communications are at the heart of WHF’s mission to advance cardiovascular health for everyone. A constantly evolving hub, the World Heart Observatory will continually gather risk factors, social determinants of health and outcomes, care infrastructure and policy responses to health needs of people everywhere.  Practitioners, policymakers and innovators can make use of varied resources such as scorecards, aggregated data, maps, graphs and other visuals, while enhancing capacity for such data collection and mobilising essential partnerships for better heart care.