UCL News


UCL awarded €20 million for big health data research in cardiovascular disease

17 February 2017

Researchers from the UCL Institutes of Health Informatics and Cardiovascular Science in collaboration with other UK and European institutes, were recently awarded €20 million research funding from the European Innovative Medicines Initiative.

Cardiovascular science

The team 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 research programme, BigData@Heart, 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."

Professor Harry Hemingway, Director of the Farr Institute, London, said: "We are showcasing the value of electronic health records in the NHS and working with the European Society of Cardiology to ensure that our research can be quickly translated into clinical practice with new policy and guidelines to improve patient outcomes internationally."

Professor Aroon Hingorani, Director of UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science, said: "Bringing together clinical and genetic data from patients across Europe gives us much more power to identify causal mechanisms and subtypes of these important heart conditions, to help develop new and tailored drug treatments, and better targeted for individuals, improving their quality of life, and helping ensure healthcare resources are optimally used."

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

The following PIs from UCL are involved in BigData@Heart: Dr Richard Dobson, Dr Spiros Denaxas, Dr Ali Moayyeri, Professor JP Casas, Professor Aroon Hingorani, Professor Harry Hemingway, and Professor Folkert Asselbergs.


UCL Institute of Health Informatics
UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science