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INDUSTRY – A VITAL PARTNER IN POWERING UP HEALTH SYSTEMS

Pioneering the use of innovative digital tools to drive efficiency and better outcomes in cardiovascular disease

 

EFPIA strongly support digitalisation within our industry and the health sector as a whole. We recently caught up with one of our member companies, Amgen, who told us about two recent innovative digital initiatives designed to identify patients at risk of cardiovascular disease and optimise care pathways.

In partnership with established software providers, Amgen has developed a programme called CValuate which is integrated into electronic health record systems and provides HCPs with real-time cardiovascular evaluation reports including crucial information on risk factors and recommended targets. The aim is to identify high-risk patients, and provide solutions to unlock systemic barriers and ultimately deliver better patient outcomes.

There are now 45,000 HCPs using CValuate in five EU countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands) with 1,500 reports generated daily and more than 55% of alerts leading to patient evaluation. The system has been shown to improve diagnosis of at-risk patients, enhance clinical outcomes and overall prevention.

We also discussed another digital solution, developed by the Amgen team in Sweden in partnership with Karolinska University Hospital and Health Solutions, to screen people at risk of familial hypercholesterolemia (FH).

FH is an inherited blood lipid disease that produces high levels of cholesterol in the blood from childhood. It leads to early atherosclerosis and a much higher risk of cardiovascular diseases including heart attacks and stroke. It is estimated that 33,000 (1 in 311) people in Sweden have FH and, despite guidelines from the National Board of Health and Welfare in 2015 on early detection and treatment, less than 5 percent have been diagnosed.1

The team at Amgen (Sweden) were inspired by a smart solution developed by Health Solutions in another disease area and believed something similar could be created for FH. On this premise, Amgen Sweden formed a partnership with Health Solutions and the Karolinska University Hospital and together developed the FHabian platform.

FHabian is a secure web-based platform (www.Fhabian.nu) for people diagnosed with FH to create a virtual family tree and invite relatives to screening. The relative receives a text message or email with a link to log on to the platform and, if they want to participate, they answer a number of questions and are offered a referral to a lipid clinic for testing of their blood fats. The doctor's assessment and recommendations are then communicated digitally or in a way most suitable for the relative.

Following a successful pilot, the platform is now in routine use at the Karolinska University Hospital and, using the additional funding received from the Health and Medical Services Administration, they estimate they will be able to find and diagnose half of all people with FH in the Stockholm region within three years. This corresponds to about 3,700 patients currently undiagnosed.2 

The platform and method may expand to more hospitals and regions. The project/platform was also recently awarded additional funding from Region Stockholm’s Innovation Fund and Vinnova (Sweden’s innovation agency) for expansion to more high risk groups and other hereditary diseases.3 The platform was also shortlisted for the Svea prize in 2021, an award in Sweden which recognizes innovative solutions for eHealth.4

We believe these are both great examples of innovation beyond the molecule, using digital tools to provide solutions across Europe that drive efficiency and improve patient outcomes. Both programs support HCPs to make better and faster decisions about patient care; as well as help patients, carers and the public to engage better with health services.

In the recent EFPIA POWER Up report, we identified digitalisation and innovation as the transformational tools needed to deliver our vision for future-proof health systems. Digitalisation is already revolutionising healthcare, but we are only beginning to feel its power. Digital health tools proved their worth during COVID-19, providing adaptable new ways for people and health systems to interact. More profoundly, system-wide digitalisation will help unleash the full power of data – allowing better and faster decisions to be made throughout our healthcare and innovation systems. We hope to connect these practical examples of digital excellence with Europe’s efforts to overcome current obstacles that make it difficult to reach the full potential of digital health and health data including the European Health Data Space.

You can read more about our POWER up priorities for a future-proof health system here: It’s time to Power Up health systems: a vision for future-proof health systems.

References

References

[1] Littmann K, et al. Digiphysical cascade screening model to diagnose familial hypercholesterolemia in relatives to an index case. Lakartidningen. 2022;119:1210

[2] Karolinska University Hospital. Karolinska University Hospital must find at least 50% of those who carry hereditary blood lipid disease. News 23-11-2021 Available at: https://news.cision.com/se/karolinska-universitetssjukhuset/r/karolinska-universitetssjukhuset-ska-hitta-minst-50---av-de-som-bar-pa-arftlig-blodfettssjukdom,c3458971 [accessed May 2022]

[3] FHabian. News 2021-04-21 and 2021-03-31. Available at: https://www.fhabian.nu/ [accessed May 2022]

[4] Karolinska University Hospital. Smart digital care chain nominated for heavy innovation award. News 29-06-2021 Available at: https://www.karolinska.se/om-oss/centrala-nyheter/2021/06/smart-digital-vardkedja-nominerad-till-tungt-innovationspris [accessed May 2022]

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