Heart Foundation launches new online heart health risk management tool for Kiwi

20 October 2020

The Heart Foundation is helping New Zealanders become more proactive about their heart health with its new online risk assessment and management tool, My Heart Check launched today (20 October 2020). 

The risk management tool is freely available for all New Zealanders to self-assess their heart health.

Based on New Zealand data, it uses information like location, ethnicity and medical history to give a heart health estimate and approximate heart age, compared to actual age.

“Our goal is to use the data to provide New Zealanders with information to proactively start a conversation with their health professional about their heart health. This includes lifestyle changes for many but may also lead to medications for blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol if they need it," Heart Foundation Medical Director Dr Gerry Devlin 

My Heart Check complements the tools clinicians use in assessing the heart health risk of their patients and helps health care professionals provide further care for patients at increased-risk.

General Practitioner and College Fellow Dr Joan Leighton says the tool will be a valuable starting point for conversations around heart health.

“Being able to show risk into the future and the positive impact of possible lifestyle such as stopping smoking is particularly useful,” says Joan.

“It gives a risk assessment using New Zealand data and will be very valuable in a wide range of settings including work places, enabling early conversations on ways to improve heart health."

My Heart Check is the first heart health risk tool based on New Zealand population data and provides a tailored assessment for all New Zealanders, including Māori, Pasifika and high-risk populations. 

Heart Foundation Medical Director Dr Gerry Devlin (pictured right) says New Zealand’s heart health risk equations are among the best in the world.

“Our goal is to use the data to provide New Zealanders with information to proactively start a conversation with their health professional about their heart health. This includes lifestyle changes for many but may also lead to medications for blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol if they need it,” says Gerry.

“The tool will play an important part in screening for risk of heart disease in high risk, difficult to reach communities and workplaces.  It can open up the important early conversations about how individuals can improve their own heart health,” he says.

My Heart Check is evidence-based and consistent with best practice guidance on cardiovascular risk assessment and management and is based on the guidelines from the New Zealand Consensus Statement. It uses information technology developed by WellSouth.

For more information on My Heart Check visit myheartcheck.org.nz