Simula is a partner in PROCardio - a new centre for research-based innovation

The new SFI, named PROCardio, will use artificial intelligence and large datasets to improve health services to cardiovascular disease patients.

PROCardio will open in the fall of 2020 and will be financed for the next eight years through the Research Council of Norway's SFI scheme. 

PROCardio will develop, test and validate new tools that can reliably predict an individual patients' disease progression, estimate the risk of sudden cardiac death and provide a longitudinal view of past and future care pathway options enabling optimal disease treatment. In particular, the opportunity to make use of cutting edge technology such as artificial intelligence to be developed in PROCardio has the potential to make critical breakthroughs in the treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

CVD is the number one cause of death globally, representing almost one-third of all deaths (WHO 2019). There are devastating consequences, in terms of both patients and their families, as well as overwhelming healthcare expenditures with costs for the Norwegian economy of more than EUR 12 billion yearly. Existing and emerging cardiac devices and medications have the potential to improve or even cure severe cardiac conditions significantly. Advanced ICT tools are essential in modern medicine, and their use increases rapidly. However, current diagnostic tools and decision support systems fall short in characterizing and profiling individual patients' disease progression.

"We are extremely pleased to partner with OUS and the rest of our consortium in PROCardio: the Precision Health Center for optimized cardiac care. This is an exciting opportunity to contribute directly to the development of cutting-edge computational technologies for critical breakthroughs in cardiovascular disease treatment pathways", said Molly Maleckar, research professor at Simula. Dr. Maleckar is the Simula lead, the PROCardio technical coordinator, and a work package lead. She notes that the success here builds upon work in the earlier SFI Center for Cardiological Innovation and, particularly, the efforts of colleague Dr. Samuel Wall.

The expected impact of the PROCardio centre is spread across a wide range of stakeholders, including commercial companies in the ICT and healthcare industry, but most importantly to patients, healthcare providers and payers. PROCardio will enable better and earlier detection of heart disease across the spectrum of cardiac disease by multi-modality monitoring, use of novel techniques including artificial intelligence and machine learning. PROCardio will enable early intervention of therapeutic measures that will improve individual health and improve morbidity and survival in large patient groups and help to focus resources on high-risk individuals and avoid under and over-treatment.

"Simula is proud to be a partner in another SFI. We look forward to the value creation this centre will provide as it as an exciting opportunity to bring together research and innovation", says deputy managing director Kyrre Lekve. 

PROCardio consortium: Oslo University Hospital (coordinator), University of Oslo, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Simula Research Laboratory, the Hospital of Southern Norway, GE Vingmed, Medtronic Norway, DIPS AS, Sesam.io AS, Norway Health Tech, Partners Health Care, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, GE Healthcare. 

About SFI

The Centres for Research-based Innovation are to develop expertise in fields of importance for innovation and value creation. Through long-term research conducted in close collaboration between research-performing companies and prominent research groups, the SFI centres are to enhance technology transfer, internationalization and researcher training. The scientific merit of the research must be of high international calibre. The SFI centres may receive support for a total of eight years (an initial five-year period with the possibility of a three-year extension).

Simula has previously hosted the SFI Certus centre which ended in 2019, as well as having been a partner in Center for Cardiological Innovation (CCI) and Sirius HPC. 

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