Digital strategies in primary cardiovascular prevention in the Italian population (CV-PREVITAL)

Digital strategies in primary cardiovascular prevention in the Italian population (CV-PREVITAL)”, is a research project promoted and funded by the Ministry of Health with a total sum of 10 million euros, by the 17th December 2018 law, n.136 and the 30th December 2018 law, n. 145.

Scientific rationale:

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading global cause of mortality and morbidity and are one of the main items of expenditure in public health.
In Italy, healthcare expenditure is growing by 2.7% per year, largely due to CVDs, and this expenditure is expected to double by 2040: a burden that is certainly difficult for the Italian National Healthcare System to bear.
Despite the large amount of information currently available, the implementation of prevention programmes for the population is still limited. CV-PREVITAL aims to evaluate the feasibility an innovative primary cardiovascular prevention intervention to be implemented through the early identification of individuals at risk, the implementation of programmes aimed at modifying non-virtuous lifestyles in combination with appropriate pharmacological correction where necessary, and appropriate information to stakeholders.

The project proposes a shift in the paradigm, by combining conventional approaches of primary cardiovascular prevention (usual care) with digital medicine, and entrusts a strategic role to advanced information technologies, capable of monitoring and managing optimally the path of prevention, creating a synergy with the different actors, with the citizen in the first place, the general practitioners (GPs), medical specialists, care-givers, diagnostic centers, pharmacies, etc.

General objective:

The general objective of CV-PREVITAL is the implementation and validation, in a very large sample of subjects and under conditions of real life, of an innovative primary cardiovascular prevention model aimed at promoting virtuous lifestyles to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular diseases and increase the years of healthy life.

Specific objectives:
  • to assess the effectiveness of a digital medicine intervention based on the use of an App and aimed at monitoring, educating and self-managing cardiovascular risk factors (conventional and unconventional) and detecting and changing unhealthy lifestyles (e.g. inappropriate diet, insufficient physical activity).
  • to develop new algorithms for the estimation of cardiovascular risk, based also on the use of artificial neural networks.
  • to carry out cost-effectiveness analysis of interventions.
  • to improve communication between GPs, National Healthcare System facilities, the Ministry of Health and the Scientific Institutes for Research, Hospitalization and Healthcare (IRCCS), through the integration of existing IT platforms.
Leading Institute:

Centro Cardiologico Monzino IRCCS

Principal investigator:
  • Giulio Pompilio, Scientific Director Centro Cardiologico Monzino IRCCS
  • Gianfranco Parati, Scientific Director Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS
Co-chief investigators:
  • Damiano Baldassarre, Centro Cardiologico Monzino IRCCS
  • Licia Iacoviello, IRCCS NEUROMED

The project involves 14 IRCCS related to the Italian Cardiology Network: Centro Cardiologico Monzino – Istituto Auxologico Italiano – Istituto Clinico Humanitas – Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri – MultiMedica – Istituto Neurologico Mediterraneo Neuromed – Policlinico San Donato – Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri – ISMETT, Istituto Mediterraneo per i Trapianti e Terapie ad Alta Specializzazione – Ospedale Policlinico San Martino – Fondazione Cà Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico – Policlinico Universitario Fondazione Agostino Gemelli – Fondazione Policlinico San Matteo – San Raffaele Roma.

Consorzio Sanità (Co.S)

The project involves Consorzio Sanità (Co.S.), a national consortium of general practitioners’ cooperatives, operating in the National Health Service.

Other participants

Italian society for the Digital Health and Telemedicine and Romeo ed Enrica Invernizzi Foundation.

Also involved
  • Consortium of Bioengineering and Medical Informatics (CBIM)
  • Consortium GARR, the ultra-broadband national network dedicated to the education and research community.
  • YouCo, an IT company with expertise in digital health tools.
  • Pharmacies in the Lombardy territory.

The numbers of CV-PREVITAL project

80.000 people in primary prevention over the age of 45 to be recruited in a “real life” context
14 Scientific Institutes for Research, Hospitalization and Healthcare (IRCCS) members of the Italian Cardiology Network
1 national consortium (Co.S.) made up of over 40 cooperatives of General Practitioners

What the CV-PREVITAL project will produce
  • an integrated IT platform
  • an intuitive and user-friendly app for smartphone downloadable from the App Store, Google Play and AppGallery.

The App is aimed at monitoring, educating and remotely managing cardiovascular risk factors, with engaging and gaming features, to encourage the frequent use of the App.
Discover some features of the integrated CV-PREVITAL App

The expected benefits of the CV-PREVITAL project
  • For citizens: innovative and personalized approaches to cardiovascular prevention, education to healthy lifestyles, control of CV risk factors.
  • For health professionals: a coordinated network for collaboration between general practitioners, specialists, researchers, other health professionals and citizens
  • For decision makers: solid data for strategic planning and resource allocation in prevention


Watch the video about the project: