The New York School of Global Public Health (NYU GPH) has joined a global initiative to reimagine how cities address heart health inequalities using artificial intelligence—starting with New York City.
Created by Novartis in partnership with Microsoft AI for Health, the AI4HealthyCities Health Equity Network aims to use innovative data science techniques to provide health authorities, health system leaders and other decision makers with insights and tools to help identify the root causes of heart health inequalities. These data-driven insights will show how health outcomes can be improved by changing the underlying social, economic and environmental determinants of health, such as housing, pollution, access to fresh food, exercise opportunities, racism, wealth and lifestyle.
“Whether at the global or local level, health inequalities are shaped by economic status and access to resources,” said Anne Aerts, President of the Novartis Foundation. “In New York and other cities, we believe that AI-based data and insights can help stakeholders make informed decisions about impactful urban heart health interventions that ultimately reach the largest number of people.”
Applying data science and artificial intelligence to health and biology information will help urban policymakers direct public health resources toward interventions that can have the greatest impact on cardiovascular disease—the number one cause of death in the world and a major driver of health inequality in the United States.
“Where people live and work in New York, the degree to which they are socially and economically disadvantaged has a greater impact on cardiovascular disease risk than their access to health care. This initiative will give us better insights into the cardiovascular health of New Yorkers in an effort to identify the most pressing issues to address and shape Our city’s policies,” said Jose Pagan, professor of public health policy and management at New York University GPH and chair of the Board of Directors of NYC Health+ Hospitals, the New York City public hospital system.
As part of AI4HealthyCities, NYU GPH will lead research in collaboration with Microsoft AI for Health by collecting data on cardiovascular disease and key social determinants of heart health in New York City. Researchers will evaluate the social determinants most associated with high blood pressure, a major cause of heart attacks and stroke It affects approximately one in four New YorkersEspecially black and Latino adults. The project also aims to create a neighborhood-wide cardiovascular risk score and map that can be used by local health leaders to guide their efforts to improve heart health.
“Equality in health is central to the mission and values of NYC Health+ Hospitals. Finding new ways to use data on the social determinants of health and cardiovascular disease can help us inform our work and deliver the promise to empower All New Yorkers can live a healthy life.
“Combining anonymized demographic data from many different sources enables us to use street-level machine learning to assess levels of cardiovascular disease risk. If applied correctly, it could potentially lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Juan La Vista, chief data scientist at Microsoft. It is revolutionizing preventive interventions in heart health.”
We know that social determinants play an important role in shaping health outcomes and inequalities. A data-driven approach to addressing these structural drivers of health inequality begins with fostering interdisciplinary efforts that include insights across multiple disciplines and sectors, said Jie Zhang, associate professor of public health policy and management at New York University GPH and principal investigator for the AI4HealthyCities project. “We are excited to work with our partners to further investigate the mechanisms linking social determinants to health outcomes and inequalities.”
Novartis, Microsoft AI for Health, and NYU GPH will launch AI4HealthyCities in a mixed event on Monday, September 19. Visit the event website to register for the live broadcast.
About the New York School of Global Public Health
At the New York School of Global Public Health (NYU GPH), we prepare the next generation of public health leaders with the critical thinking skills, business acumen, and entrepreneurial approach needed to reinvent the public health paradigm. Dedicated to employing a non-traditional, interdisciplinary model, NYU GPH aims to improve health worldwide through a unique blend of global public health studies, research, and practice. The school is located in the heart of New York City and extends to NYU’s global network on six continents. Innovation is at the core of our ambitious approach, thinking and teaching. For more visit: publichealth.nyu.edu
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