Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate. With different manifestations in each patient, it causes a worsening of the quality of life and a drastic reduction in life expectancy. Today, it is the most common cardiac arrhythmia; It affects more than 6 million Europeans and its prevalence is expected to double in the next 40 years. In addition, its cost exceeds 1% of the budgets of European health systems (13,500 million annually).
To reverse these figures –or at least reduce them–, experts agree on the need to promote individualized patient management, through the personalization of cardiovascular therapies. In this context, the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), through its ITACA Institute, coordinates PersonalizeAF, an European project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No.860974.
In this initiative, universities, hospitals and European companies that investigate atrial fibrillation from different fields participate. Using artificial intelligence, signal processing or stem cell research, PersonalizeAF brings together engineers, clinicians, and biologists to improve treatments, develop new diagnostic methods, and optimize patient management.
“PersonalizeAF addresses this challenge through a transformative international program; a multidisciplinary research and training program in new technologies and innovative strategies for the treatment of the disease ”, highlights María Guillem, coordinator of the project and deputy director of the ITACA Institute of UPV.
First meeting, with a unique event
The first meeting of the consortium took place on October 28 and 29, organized by the ITACA Institute. During this meeting, a unique public outreach event on AF was also held to discuss different perspectives on the disease and its treatment, and in which special attention was paid to patients and the general public. The activity, entitled “Improving treatments for Atrial Fibrillation, a challenge for the welfare system”, brought together patients, researchers and clinicians.
“It is only the beginning of a long history of a project that will revolutionize the field of atrial fibrillation and improve the lives of millions of people,” concludes María Guillem.
Source: UPV’s Information Office
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