EraNet EracoSysMed - SysAFib

Systems medicine for diagnosis and stratification of atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, characterized by chaotic electrical activation of the atria, preventing synchronized contraction. More than 6 mm Europeans suffer from it and age is the most powerful predictor of risk. Life-threatening complications and fast progression to persistent or permanent forms call for as early as possible diagnosis and effective treatment of AF. AF is often treated with anti-arrhythmic drugs, with limited efficacy and safety. Atrial ablation, an invasive procedure, is more effective. This procedure is by no means optimized, however, and AF may reoccur. The efficacy of first time ablation may range from 30%-75% depending on the individual patient and disease, such that multiple ablation procedures may be recommended. It is critical to understand whether an ablation procedure is likely to benefit a particular patient with AF, and whether the arrhythmia is likely to reoccur in this patient, to maximize positive patient outcomes and ensure judicious resource allocation in our healthcare systems. Currently, there are no decision support tools enabling clinicians to access integrated AF patient data together with predictive models to facilitate prognosis and treatment planning. The aim of SysAFib is to integrate the existing sources of knowledge using systems medicine approach into a focused decision support system to determine which patients are good candidates for atrial ablation and which patients are at risk for arrhythmia recurrence. This would be impossible to develop to the stage of a demonstrator project without a strong partnership of individually world-leading scientific, clinical, and experimental competencies. A key aspect of SysAFib concerns the development and pursuit of a comprehensive dissemination/exploitation strategy, which will ensure that the multifaceted project outcomes impact all key stakeholders at the level of the clinic, the policy-makers, and, not least, the individual AF patient.

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