Roisin Ryder, F2 Centre, Rialto, Dr Angie Brown, Medical Director, Irish Heart Foundation, Audrey Derveloy, General Manager, Novartis Ireland, Orla Veale, Project Lead, Smart D8 at the launch of Heart of our City. Picture by Shane O'Neill, Coalesce.

Heart of our City Pilot Launched to Improve Heart Health in D8

Heart of our City aims to reduce the rate of unplanned cardiovascular hospital admissions by connecting people with a range of resources to support their heart health including social prescribing initiatives.


Business, Life

Heart of our City is a new pilot project under the theme of population health, focused on improving heart health in Dublin 8. The project is the first of a series of ‘pilot projects’ being supported by Smart D8 – the smart city testbed district which was launched earlier this year to support innovation in healthcare and community wellbeing.  Heart of our City, which is the first pilot project, was launched on Friday by Minister of Health, Stephen Donnelly.

Smart D8 conducted local community research earlier this year and heart health was identified as an area of concern for local citizens with 23% of respondents advising they would like more support and information.

The Heart of our City programme is a collaboration by the Irish Heart Foundation, Smart D8 and Novartis. The project is also working with the Dublin 8 community, St James’s Hospital, ExWell Medical and Fatima Groups United and the F2 Resource Centre.

This pilot project will connect people in Dublin 8 with a range of existing resources to support their cardiovascular health, building on existing social prescribing initiatives in the locality.

The Heart of our City project is aiming to improve heart health that will result in a reduced burden on local health services and reduce unplanned hospitalisations. In addition, the overall health and wellbeing of citizens will improve. The hope is that the model and learnings from this project can also be applied to other chronic diseases in the future.

Commenting on the launch, Dr Angie Brown, Medical Director with the Irish Heart Foundation, said: “We are really pleased to have the opportunity to work with Novartis and Smart D8 on this innovative project focused on the local community in Dublin 8. Heart disease and stroke have a devastating impact on families across Ireland and we know that 80% of this is preventable. A key challenge is in empowering people to make the changes they need to lead healthier lives and that is the focus of this project.”

Audrey Derveloy, General Manager of Novartis Ireland, who are a corporate partner for the programme indicated that Novartis are proud to partner with Smart D8 and the Irish Heart Foundation on a project that is likely to have much wider application. “With the healthcare challenges and inequalities exacerbated by the pandemic, it is even more important for organisations to partner on preventive healthcare approaches like Heart of our City. This is a critical time for us to explore how we can pivot away from simply treating disease, to instead collaboration and prevention.”

According to Orla Veale, Project Lead, Smart D8: “Smart D8 is delighted to collaborate with the Irish Heart Foundation and Novartis on the Heart of our City project that is responding directly to the needs of the community. Our community survey showed that 1 in 4 Dublin 8 residents avail of cardiovascular health services and many have difficulty taking medication at the correct time. Given our aim to transform the health and wellbeing of citizens in the area, we felt that this project could make a real impact.”

Find out more about the Heart of our City project at

Smart D8 is a collaborative initiative with the purpose of investigating how new and innovative approaches can be used to improve citizens’ health and wellbeing in Dublin 8.

The Smart D8 District brings together local authorities, academia, healthcare, local community and industry in a partnership model to address real world issues. The Digital Hub, Smart Dublin, Dublin City Council and St. James’s Hospital are joined by HSE Digital Transformation, Tyndall National Institute, St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, Trinity Research & Innovation, Trinity Translational Medicine Institute, National College of Art & Design, Guinness Enterprise Centre and Health Innovation Hub Ireland as partners in this unique initiative.

Smart D8 has engaged with the local Dublin 8 community to identify the major issues faced in terms of health and wellbeing and will develop an ecosystem of innovation and collaboration where solutions can be developed to address these issues.

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