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Digital technologies can transform cardiovascular diagnosis and patient care

09 Jul 2020

More than 60 million people live with cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the EU, and close to 13 million new cases of CVD are diagnosed every year. Digital innovation in health can improve diagnosis, cardiovascular patients’ care, treatment and management, and lead to better human and economic outcomes. The COVID-19 pandemic has already demonstrated how accessible data is fundamental in the management of diseases.

The newly launched research paper “What is the value of digital tools for cardiovascular patients?”, funded by the European Heart Network, offers an overview of existing evidence on effectiveness of digital tools for primary and secondary prevention, heart failure management, home-hospitalisation for heart failure patients, diagnosis and management of cardiac arrythmias and remote monitoring of cardiac implantable devices. In addition, the paper addresses the potential of big data and artificial intelligence in cardiology to personalise detection and treatment, develop new medicines, stratify patients and make clinical trials less costly.

Susanne Løgstrup, EHN Director says “the paper provides as detailed a picture as possible on what is available and effective for cardiovascular patients. In light of the EU’s digital ambition, the paper is an important resource for identifying where research investments are needed and what is important for digital health to scale up, without compounding or creating new health inequalities.”

Co-creation with patients and health care professionals is key to exploiting the potential of digital health in delivering safe, effective, sustainable, and user-friendly applications and products accessible to all. Interoperability, implementation of electronic medical records, and reimbursement schemes are also important to realise a large-scale roll-out of digital health technologies.

The EU is on the cusp of developing its European Data Strategy, a European Health Data Space, and policies for trustworthy and secure development of artificial intelligence. A clear EU framework, which meets patients’ key concerns, including accessibility, privacy and data security concerns, and which addresses the need for personal empowerment, digital and health literacy, is essential. The EU Framework should put emphasis on strengthening infrastructures and interoperability to allow secure health data flow across the EU.

Click here for the research paper.