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UCL European collaboration awarded €20m for big health data research in cardiovascular disease

Sophie Vinter20 February 2017

The BigData@Heart research team has secured €20 million research funding from the European Innovative Medicines Initiative.

A UCL collaboration with European partners has been awarded €20 million research funding from the European Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) to help improve treatment for cardiovascular disease.

BigData@Heart is a consortium that comprises the UCL Institutes of Health Informatics and Cardiovascular Science, the European Society of Cardiology, European patient organisations, universities from Utrecht, Berlin, Cambridge, Valencia, Stockholm, Hamburg, Birmingham and Uppsala and various pharmaceutical and technology partners.

The research programme will use healthcare data to deliver better care for people with heart attacks, heart failure and the commonest heart rhythm disturbance, atrial fibrillation.

Despite major progress in treatments, these conditions present a substantial burden to the estimated 30 million or so people in Europe who suffer from cardiovascular diseases, and to the healthcare systems that care for them.

The programme will integrate healthcare data, activity monitors (wearables), state-of-the-art ‘-omics’ profiles, information about patients’ lifestyles and health and their own reporting of symptoms, to better understand the causes of these conditions and the different subtypes. This information will be used to develop personalized (rather than ‘one size fits all’) treatments.

Professor Folkert Asselbergs, scientific coordinator of BigData@Heart, said: “The IMI funding gives us a unique opportunity to impact clinical care using Big Data approaches. BigData@Heart brings together the strongest research groups in Europe, industry, professional and patient organisations, all working in partnership to improve care for people living with heart disease.”