Heart experts call on millions for vital online services as telemedicine takes off
Cardiovascular disease claims the lives of 18.6 million people per year and the 520 million people living with cardiovascular disease have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
The WHF calls for equity in healthcare and the rapid development of digital care to reduce inequalities by transforming the diagnosis, prevention and management of CVD in low- and middle-income settings.
Currently only 20%2 of the population of low-income countries is online. WHF calls on operators to finance and develop infrastructure to reach disconnected hearts everywhere; governments prioritize digital infrastructure and heart health in policy; industry to keep technology prices affordable; and telecommunications service providers to work with them to bring digital medicine to some of the world’s poorest communities across the globe.
“Never before have we seen such a ‘technological acceleration’ in cardiology,” says Fausto Pinto, president of the World Heart Federation. “This is a unique opportunity to transform the lives of millions of people who are left behind in healthcare today. We must use digital health to scale up and accelerate prevention efforts and save lives and millions spent on care. ”
From online consultations to simple electrocardiograms (ECGs), blood pressure monitoring and virtual surgery, the web has opened up new possibilities for making cardiovascular care accessible to millions of people. As with any rapid digital transformation, there are challenges. For healthcare, primary concerns include data privacy, technological compatibility, and the need for human contact. According to WHF, co-designing programs with patients will also be essential.
World Heart Day is supported by leading pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly Alliance.
The general public is encouraged to get involved in World Heart Day by joining the conversation on social platforms using the hashtags #UseHeart and #WorldHeartDay.
Notes to Editors
- Media contact: Borjana Pervan, Director of Communications, World Heart Federation
- Interviews: spokespersons for biographies and portraits can be found here. Please contact Aline Bochenek-Benoit, Campaign Manager, World Heart Federation [email protected] or +4122870325.
- Linked to pictures: drop box
1. McKinsey https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/telehealth-use-stabilizing-at-38-times-pre-covid-19-levels-mckinsey-says/603153/
SOURCE World Heart Federation