Image of a doctor wearing a pink shirt and blue tie

TORONTO, December 2, 2021 – Munich Reinsurance Company’s Canadian life branch (Munich Re) is pleased to announce a partnership with the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Foundation to advance cutting-edge cardiovascular disease research. As part of this partnership, Munch Re will help fund an innovative research project at the cutting-edge of science, MyHeart Counts Canada. In addition, Munich Re will collaborate with the project’s lead investigator, Abhinav Sharma MD, PhD., to incorporate an insurance cohort into the study to help fuel better outcomes for insured populations.

MyHeart Counts is a revolutionary smartphone app created at Stanford University in the United States as part of a research study to understand better how to keep hearts healthy. It allows users to see how their physical activity and lifestyle affect their cardiovascular health by tracking their movement using their phone or wearable fitness tracker. The app then provides assessments that measure risk and teaches users how to improve their heart health.

Dr Sharma, a cardiologist at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) in Montreal, was part of the Stanford team that created MyHeart Counts, and now he is bringing the app to Canadians. MyHeart Counts Canada will improve the heart health of Canadians from coast to coast while allowing Dr Sharma and his team to gain a deeper understanding of the factors that lead to cardiovascular disease – one of the leading causes of death in Canada.

“Munich Re is proud to partner with the MUHC Foundation and support this innovative research project spearheaded by Dr Sharma,” said Bernard Naumann, President and CEO, Munich Re, Canada (Life). “The utilization of digital health technologies to improve cardiovascular health is an important area of interest for us. As one of the world’s leading life reinsurers, we constantly strive to improve our knowledge of cardiovascular disease in its myriad manifestations, and apply these advances in our risk assessment paradigm. We look forward to understanding how digital technologies will improve cardiovascular outcomes and ultimately both the quality of life and life expectancy”  

Dr Sharma added, “I am grateful to Munich Re for supporting the development of MyHeart Counts Canada. Cardiovascular disease kills millions of people worldwide each year, and their generous support will help us better understand why heart disease develops and what we can do to prevent it.”

“Munich Re’s investment in and support of MyHeart Counts Canada has the potential to change the lives of millions. While the app will benefit its users in the short term, the new insights into cardiovascular disease prevention will benefit everyone, now and in the future,” commented Julie Quenneville, President, and CEO, McGill University Health Centre Foundation.