• Cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been the number one cause of death since 1950 and people with CVD have double the annual healthcare costs as those without CVD 
  • New report shows CVD, high blood pressure, and/or high cholesterol are among the top cost drivers for 75 percent of benefits leaders
  • Scalable, digital tools that focus on preventive care and zero-in on CVD risk factors can combat astronomical costs, deliver quality clinical outcomes 

MENLO PARK, Calif., January 23, 2024 Hello Heart, the digital leader in preventive heart health, today released its inaugural Why Heart Health Matters Report, which examines the toll that cardiovascular disease (CVD) takes on employers, health plans, and the people they serve. 

The report surveyed 300 benefits leaders at large employers and health plans to gauge their investment and prioritization of member health initiatives for 2024. 75 percent of respondents said CVD, high blood pressure, and/or high cholesterol were among the top three cost drivers for their healthcare claims annually. As a result, organizations increasingly recognize heart health as a business need, with 76 percent listing it among their top three strategic organizational health priorities for 2024.  

Although 80 percent of heart attacks and strokes are preventable, CVD has been the number one cause of death since 1950. It is estimated that nearly half of the U.S. population will have some form of cardiovascular disease by 2035, and one in five Americans is expected to die from it. CVD takes a significant economic toll as well, costing the healthcare system $216 billion and causing $147 billion in lost productivity every year. The average person with CVD, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol averages more than $12,000 in annual health spending, twice that of people without these diagnoses. 

As CVD continues to drive high costs and cause the most deaths, organizations are starting to take action. The Why Heart Health Matters Report shows that 86 percent of benefits leaders at large employers and health plans recognize the need for an organizational strategy to address heart health.

“Benefits leaders understand that the human and economic consequences of heart disease can no longer be overlooked or pushed aside as a problem to solve later,” said Maayan Cohen, CEO and co-founder at Hello Heart. “Preventive tools that focus on heart health risk factors can make a big difference, improving outcomes for people using the tools and reducing costs for leaders offering them.”

Scalable digital health tools like Hello Heart’s app combat astronomical CVD costs. Organizations can reduce annual CVD costs per person by up to 19 percent – or $2,382 per person – in the first year of adopting Hello Heart, a connected monitor and digital coaching tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI), behavioral science, and personalized digital coaching to help people understand their CVD risk and take steps to improve their heart health. 

Poor heart health has implications beyond the cardiovascular system; it can contribute to the development of high-cost chronic diseases, including sleep apnea, kidney disease, and mental and behavioral health. Hello Heart users create sustained lifestyle changes that can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and even anxiety symptoms, which are each associated with reduced risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure, and more.

“Heart health management is critical for improving health outcomes and addressing costs related to a wide range of conditions, including respiratory and neurological issues,” said Edo Paz, MD, SVP, Medical Affairs at Hello Heart. “Fortunately, there’s increased awareness and understanding that great things happen when people take care of their hearts. The heart has a significant impact on various body systems and serves as the foundation of human health.” 

Improving heart health also contributes to health equity, particularly for women, who are twice as likely to die after a heart attack than men, and Black Americans, who are more than twice as likely to die from CVD as white Americans. Hello Heart’s targeted approach, supported by clinical guidelines, serves to address health equity gaps for these populations as well as Hispanic and Latino/a Americans and our aging population. 

“Heart disease is called a ‘silent killer’ because people often aren’t aware of their condition until it’s too late,” said Cohen. “We need to ensure as many people as possible have access to tools that engage them in understanding and improving their heart health.”

Visit helloheart.com/whyhearthealthmatters to view the full report. 

About the Survey

Hello Heart and a third-party research firm, Hanover Research, surveyed benefits leaders at large employers and health plans on their investment and prioritization of chronic conditions and digital health programs. Hello Heart received 200 responses from senior benefits decision-makers at U.S. employers offering benefits to at least 3,000 covered lives, and 100 responses from senior benefits decision-makers at U.S. health plans offering benefits to at least 20,000 covered lives.

About Hello Heart

Hello Heart is the digital leader in preventive heart health. We provide members with a connected blood pressure monitor and AI-driven digital coaching app. Through human-centric design, members receive tailored and actionable insights around healthy eating, activity, and medications. Members can also track key heart metrics like blood pressure and cholesterol unique to each person and consistent with clinical guidelines. By building a habit of monitoring heart health, members create sustained lifestyle changes. Validated in peer-reviewed studies, Hello Heart members achieve significant reductions in blood pressure over a sustained period. Founded in 2013, Hello Heart is a member of the American Heart Association’s Innovators’ Network and trusted by leading Fortune 1000 employers, national health plans and pharmacy benefit managers.