heart and veins

ORLANDO, Florida — A new initiative between the American Heart Association and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute will fund innovative research methods and crowdsourcing to identify important research needs in cardiovascular disease.

AHA Chief Executive Officer Nancy Brown announced the initiative on Sunday at the 2015 AHA Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Florida.

Using input mined from thousands of patients, clinicians, family caregivers, and researchers – a process known as crowdsourcing — the initiative will generate a prioritized list of critical heart disease research questions of interest to both organizations, including hypertension, women’s heart health and health disparities.

“The pressure from patients is mounting as expectations rise for more evidence-based resources to help make informed health decisions and for more precise medicine,” Brown said. “We look forward to working with PCORI and communities interested in making a difference by identifying critical questions that can transform the research paradigm and set the stage for innovative comparative effective cardiovascular disease research.”

Comparative effectiveness research uncovers information by comparing two or more approaches to healthcare. The nonprofit PCORI is the largest single research funder of this type of research.

The initiative will fund identification of the most innovative, scientifically rigorous and patient-centered research ideas.

“We’re delighted to partner with AHA and its network of more than 30 million lay advocates and professional members in this initiative. By optimizing the use of a crowdsourced challenge model as a way to hone in on the greatest unmet needs in cardiovascular disease, we’ll also learn how we can best apply this model to a range of other conditions,” said Joe Selby, M.D., M.P.H., PCORI executive director.

Cardiovascular disease, one of the leading causes of death and illness in America, affects more than one in every three U.S. adults. PCORI has addressed key questions about the disease and AHA support has yielded much progress.

However, cardiovascular disease continues to burden individuals and families, the nation’s healthcare system and productivity, and research opportunities remain, according to the AHA. The demand for research advances will only increase with the aging of the U.S. population.