Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major killer in Europe, causing 3.9 million deaths (around 45% of all deaths) annually. What’s more, a third of deaths from CVD occur in the under 75s. On the economic front, CVD costs the EU around EUR 210 billion a year, with healthcare costs accounting for just over half of this figure. Three diseases – atrial fibrillation (AF), heart failure (HF) and acute coronary syndrome (ACS) are major drivers of CVD. All three are extremely complex and characterised by large differences between patients with the same diagnosis. As a result, it is hard to predict which patients will respond best to which treatments.
The BigData@Heart project is part of IMI’s Big Data for Better Outcome (BD4BO) Programme. It brings together some of Europe’s leading experts in CVD treatment and management, as well as epidemiologists, big data scientists, doctors, industry representatives, patient representatives, and ethics and legal experts. Between them, the partners have access to many cohorts and databases in this field. With this diverse team and resources, the project will be able to develop new definitions of diseases and outcomes; informatics platforms that link, visualise and harmonise different data sources; data science techniques; and guidelines on the cross-border use of big data resources. In the long term, the project expects to have an impact on our understanding of heart disease, the discovery of new targets for treatments, and progress towards personalised treatments for CVD.