Inspiring positive change in cardiovascular disease care: moving towards a more collaborative approach
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is responsible for more than 10,000 lives lost every day, making it the leading cause of death in Europe.1,2 The number of people who experience CVD in their life is expected to increase as a result of our rapidly ageing population.3,4 However, we are also witnessing progress in the CVD treatment landscape, care solutions, and improvements in preventative strategies, which has led to a reduction in premature deaths from CVD versus recent decades5 – a trend, we are keen to help continue.
With the immense potential to improve a vast number of lives and reduce premature deaths, we firmly believe that CVD must continue to be a public health priority across Europe. Our new report, TOWARDS POSITIVE CHANGE IN CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE CARE, draws on findings from scientific studies, expert thinking and our own research, to highlight where the health community should focus its efforts in order to inspire positive change in CVD care and make a meaningful difference to people’s lives. We wanted to discuss some of these areas in a bit more detail:
Empowering patients to adopt a healthier lifestyle
It goes without saying, one of the most important ways to inspire a positive change in CVD care, is to mobilise patients to play an active role in their health and well-being. Encouragingly, our recently published report, the EUROPEAN SURVEY OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE, highlights that many people are willing to adopt healthier habits to improve their heart health, with having heart disease or knowing a friend or family member with heart disease being a key decisive driver for making positive lifestyle changes.6
Driving digital innovation
Digital health innovations offer a huge opportunity for monitoring and caring for people’s CV health, which could ultimately help to reduce CV events for those at risk. In fact, research demonstrates that home blood pressure monitoring is more accurate, and blood pressure control is better when readings are taken at home versus a clinic.7 Professor Pepe Zamorano, Chief of Cardiology at Ramón y Cajal University Hospital, Spain, explains: “Patients feel more in control of their disease with digital devices, and healthcare professionals can keep a check on their levels remotely. It has become the cornerstone of controlling and following CV patients.”
Committing to collaboration
Our industry has changed vastly over the last few decades, and we know that a ‘one size fits all’ approach to interactions between industry and the clinical and scientific community no longer works. For us at Daiichi Sankyo, it’s imperative that we focus on the individual needs of our stakeholders, changing our approach and working practices to truly address their need for support, and deliver valuable solutions through collaboration and co-creation. But we cannot change the landscape of CVD alone.
There are numerous examples of the power of partnerships in the CVD space and the strides we are making to advance CVD care. In 2021, 12 key EU and international health organisations signed a joint statement calling on the EU to develop a comprehensive CVD Plan to ensure European citizens can live longer, healthier lives, regardless of where they are born or where they live.8 The signatories also called for much-needed action to support prevention and early detection, and expand access to treatment and rehabilitation.
Such collaborative efforts, and particularly those that focus on prevention, are essential to guiding future research priorities in the CVD space. According to the World Heart Federation, approximately 80% of CVD cases are preventable,9 which further reinforces the need to focus on prevention, symptom awareness and early detection. Professor Fausto J. Pinto, Professor of Cardiology at Lisbon University Medical School, Portugal, echoes this sentiment, saying: “As a society, as well as medical professionals, we should focus on preventing CVD and be putting more emphasis on providing conditions for having a healthier life because, ultimately, we want to help people to live longer.”
The TOWARDS POSITIVE CHANGE IN CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE report provides a hopeful outlook on the future of CVD care, but we must not be complacent. With focus and dedication, we need to continue to make bold strides in the right direction, working to help prevent CVD in Europe and make a meaningful difference to people’s lives.
A special thank you to Professor Pepe Zamorano and Professor Fausto J. Pinto for their contributions to this report. You can view it in full here.