Public Release: 

American Heart Association sets global health agenda

Becomes member of the World Economic Forum Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

American Heart Association

Boston, MA October 5, 2017 -- The American Heart Association (AHA) is demonstrating its commitment to dramatically change the trajectory of cardiovascular disease globally by becoming a member of the World Economic Forum Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a hub for global multi-stakeholder collaboration. This move supports the AHA's strategic imperative to make a tremendous global impact by harnessing science and technology to help accelerate the Sustainable Development Agenda that includes the promotion of health and well-being.

Nancy Brown, American Heart Association chief executive officer, made the announcement today in Boston at the organization's Health Tech & Innovation Forum, an annual thought-leadership summit that convenes the best and brightest in science and health technology. The AHA Center of Health Technology and Innovation partners with collaborators in the healthcare technology industry to provide evidence based health and well-being solutions for consumers and patients by integrating the Association's trusted content and guidelines with digital healthcare solutions.

This year, the world's leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease, hosts-health tech heavy hitters, including Samsung and Qualcomm Life to present at the AHA Health Technology and Innovation Forum. A fireside chat with Dr. Calum MacRae, leader of One Brave Idea, the $75 million research enterprise charged with ending coronary heart disease and its consequences, is also planned.

"Noncommunicable diseases, including cardiovascular diseases and stroke, are by far the most urgent threat to worldwide health today in terms of mortality, suffering and economic burden," said Brown. "We cannot make global change alone and it's essential that we challenge the status-quo together to inspire healthcare innovation. We look forward to working closely with fellow Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution member organizations, as well as our health tech partners, who share our vision for improving health and well-being for people throughout the world."

"The speed and scale of innovation is happening much faster than anyone anticipated and many governments and businesses are operating under an architecture that needs to be more agile," said Murat Sonmez, head of the World Economic Forum Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. "The American Heart Association joins leading global businesses, governments and members of civil society to co-design innovative approaches to help establish policy and governance around new technologies such as artificial intelligence and precision medicine. We look forward to accelerating the positive impact of these new technologies on society."

The impact of noncommunicable diseases continues to grow every year, especially in low- and middle-income countries and the eradication of noncommunicable diseases, the world's leading cause of death, is a primary focus of the Association's global health initiatives. Brown has been a member of the World Economic Forum Health Governor's Community since 2016. The World Economic Forum Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution will help the Association get ahead of the storm that chronic diseases present and make a meaningful impact in the lives of citizens in all corners of the world.

"We need cost-effective solutions to prevent and treat these diseases, which can be integrated into existing global health programs," said Brown. "From artificial intelligence to precision medicine, technology is the gateway to these solutions."

Based in San Francisco, the World Economic Forum Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution brings together governments, leading companies, civil society and experts from around the world to co-design and pilot innovative approaches to policy and governance of new technologies. The Center will develop, implement and scale agile and human-centered pilot projects that can be adopted by policy-makers, legislators and regulators worldwide to address challenges related to emerging technologies. Other partner organizations include Salesforce, Microsoft, Kaiser Permanente, SAP and BBVA.

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke - the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke -- the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the Association's science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

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