On 8 and 9 May 2019, I took part in a fantastic ESC Cardiovascular Round Table meeting entitled ‘Innovation in cardiovascular medicine – a joint roadmap’.
Through the discussion we identified numerous challenges to innovation, including:
- Clinical trials take many years to complete, are costly, over-regulated and outcomes focus on one endpoint
- Funding sources for cardiovascular research are limited and no clear investment strategy currently exists
- Cardiovascular players are not sufficiently co-ordinated in their approach to research, creating silos
Through its advocacy work, the ESC is in dialogue with regulatory and funding bodies to move forward on these points. Nevertheless, one of the conclusions we reached is that the cardiovascular community needs to design smarter, more integrated approaches to trials using existing, less expensive data.
One such approach was announced at ESC Spring Summit and represents a very exciting opportunity for the ESC and National Cardiac Societies to work together; the EUROHEART project.
This new federation of nationwide surveys is an initiative for continuous quality of care improvement, based on existing, individual patient data. It will also allow us to conduct observational and randomised research.
EUROHEART will be a fully integrated approach based on national and local programmes, all of which will use a common data set, quality criteria and a common infrastructure. This initiative represents a revolution in how we can use multi-national big data sources, to create a trustworthy, efficient and integrated evidence system.
This project will be ESC and National Cardiac Society collaboration at its best – national knowledge and experience, harnessed by the ESC at a ‘European’ level, to provide outcomes that benefit patients.