On November 8th of last year, Verily and the American Heart Association (AHA) made a big announcement. Together, we would invest in one visionary approach focused on novel strategies to prevent and reverse coronary heart disease (CHD). I remember the date well because I was there and included in my tweet that I was joining Verily as Head of Cardiovascular Innovations.

Cardiovascular diseases are the largest cause of death globally, accounting for about one of every three deaths, with CHD the top underlying cause. In order to move the needle on this global problem, Verily, AHA, and now AstraZeneca have committed to collectively invest $75 million to this initiative, a transformative award directed towards an ambitious approach to CHD and its consequences.

The genesis of this award came from asking ourselves, “what does it mean to truly believe in and commit to a visionary idea?” We wanted to take a stand and invest in a leader, and to provide sustained support over several years to give the awarded team the resources and time to fully realize a bold vision. "One Brave Idea" officially launched and began accepting applications in January 2016. Our hope is that this initiative will catalyze other similar grants that move rapidly and provide durable funding.

Today, I am excited to congratulate the winner of One Brave Idea™: Dr. Calum MacRae, Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and his broad multidisciplinary team. From reading the hundreds of applications to identifying the winner, it has been thrilling to participate in this selection process. We look forward to helping Dr. MacRae and his team, in concert with the AHA and AstraZeneca, accomplish this important mission.

Watch our YouTube Live Stream from today, featuring a roundtable discussion with Dr. McRae and representatives from the Joint Leadership Group of Verily, AHA, and AstraZeneca. To read more about Dr. MacRae and the winning idea, see our press release. We're excited to see where this research can lead!

Posted by Mike McConnell, MD, MSEE, Head of Cardiovascular Health Innovations at Verily