The euCanSHare project led by UPF, with the participation of 16 EU-Canada research partners, will develop the first centralised, secure and sustainable platform for enhanced cross-border data sharing and multi-study personalised medicine research in cardiology. This will be achieved through support from the European Commission (H2020 work programme), as well as for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé.
The project will create a translational research platform to facilitate cardiovascular data sharing among research institutions, clinical centres and relevant industries in the European Union (EU), Canada and beyond. The data analysis module of the platform will offer tools for cardiac image quantification, data quality control, multi-omics integrative bioinformatics and advanced machine learning.
Even with recent declines in deaths, cardiovascular disease (CVD) continues to be the number one killer in Europe, causing 3.8 million deaths per year across Europe and the Mediterranean (1.8 million deaths in the European Union alone), with 30% premature deaths. Technology and data sharing through compiling and analysing large amounts of cardiovascular data holds the key to reducing premature deaths and increasing quality of life for those living with heart disease. There is a need for big data-driven approaches that link molecular, imaging, functional and clinical data. This integration presents a formidable challenge to data storage, management and analysis, IT capacity and accessibility.
The project outcomes are aligned to SDG 3 (Good health and wellbeing). Specifically to target 3.4 by 2030, to reduce by one-third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being.
Furthermore, it is aligned with SDG 9 (Industries, innovation and infrastructure), by developing an IT platform that will enable the re-use of biological data, information technologies and sustainable infrastructures to promote new developments and innovations in the field of healthcare and biomedicine, in particular for cardiovascular personalised medicine.
Finally, euCanSHare is aligned with SDG 17 (Partnership for the goals), as a reference project that is based on partnership between researchers, industries, clinicians and public bodies (EC), as well as between Europe and Canada, to tackle one the main challenges of modern societies.
Initially developed by a consortium of 16 institutions based on 35 European and Canadian cohorts totalling over 1,000,000 records, the platform will include extensive functionalities for future data deposition, data harmonisation and data analysis. This means new data cohorts and relevant users from research, industry and public health with join the platform continuously over time to exploit its big data capabilities and investigate a range of clinical problems in cardiovascular personalised medicine.
During the project (2018-2022), the features of the platform will be demonstrated and adjusted through several use cases, including for investigating diabetic cardiomyopathy, myocardial infarction and stroke using multi-factorial and multi-omics integrative approaches. On the long term (beyond 2022), researchers from all over Europe and beyond will benefit from a consolidated one-stop, big data shop to perform efficient and effective research studies that results in tailor-made patient treatments and better cardiovascular disease outcomes. They will be able to investigate, for example, the diagnosis of rare cardiovascular diseases such as left ventricular non-compaction or the use of genetic tests to estimate responses to treatments such as cardiac resynchronisation therapy.