For almost a decade, the Novartis Foundation has been using digital health technology, HealthTech, to power initiatives that are people-centered, integrated, scalable and sustainable.


The KaziBantu initiative aims to improve the cardiovascular health of schoolchildren and their teachers in disadvantaged communities of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Besides introducing innovative physical and nutritional educational methods for school children, KaziBantu developed a mobile app for teachers to take responsibility in managing their own cardiovascular health, KaziHealth. The mobile app is openly available on Google Play and integrates three lifestyle interventions: physical activity, healthy eating, and stress and sleep management, to help individuals achieve their personal health goals. It was a finalist in the 2020 CommonWealth Digital Health Awards.

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Vietnam’s eHypertension tracker

The Communities for Healthy Hearts program in Vietnam developed the e-Hypertension Tracker – an online searchable database to gather data about hypertension care, including blood pressure checks, diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing risk factors. This empowers primary health workers to better help their patients care for their health. Currently, the e-Hypertension Tracker is also one of the key components in the new Cardio4Cities roadmap for HCMC, which is currently being implemented.

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São Paulo’s cardiovascular risk calculator

Assessing cardiovascular risk is important for planning adequate patient management and follow up. In response, the Better Hearts Better Cities program in São Paulo worked with the Brazilian Society of Hypertension to develop a mobile app that guides the user through a cardiovascular risk calculation. The app, which is openly available for Android and iPhone, also includes the official guidelines for hypertension in the primary health services of São Paulo.

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Health systems and cardiovascular disease intervention simulator

Making the right policy decisions to target cardiovascular disease is challenging, especially in low-resource settings. Many different population-level interventions must be evaluated to identify the most impactful strategies. From 2022, the Novartis Foundation will work with the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute to develop a simulation tool that captures the complexities of health systems and cardiovascular disease interventions. Decision-makers will be able to use this tool to estimate the impact and cost-effectiveness of policies before they are implemented, to identify the interventions that will most benefit their populations. The tool will be piloted in São Paulo, Brazil, where it will be developed together with local partners.