Big Data

For Better Hearts



  • Interview with Alicia Uijl

    Dr Alicia Uijl

    Postdoc at the University Medical Center Utrecht 

    Utrecht, Netherlands

    Alicia is a key member of case study 4 “Epidemiology of Heart Failure in Europe” working group in the IMI BigData@Heart (BD@H) project.

    How did you become interested in epidemiology?

    I first became interested in epidemiology during my bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences. I found out that all courses in epidemiology came very naturally and every other student always wanted to have me in their group. My Master research project was an epidemiological study in diabetes and obesity at Leiden University. Thanks to my supervisor and colleagues this was a great experience, including participation in conferences and writing scientific abstracts - privileges of experienced PhD students. I was determined this was what I wanted to do and I got a PhD position in Utrecht University with prof. dr. Folkert Asselbergs and prof. dr. Arno Hoes as supervisors. First year of my PhD I spent at University College London getting deeper into big data science and its application in epidemiology and particularly cardiovascular diseases.


  • Interview with Amitava Banarjee

    Dr Amitava Banerjee 

    Associate Professor in Clinical Data Science and Consultant Cardiologist

    University College London

    Interview with Amitava Banerjee about the award-winning publication: Banerjee A et al. Estimating excess 1-year mortality from COVID-19 according to underlying conditions and age in England: a rapid analysis using NHS health records in 3.8 million adults. Lancet (12 May 2020). The paper won the Health Data Research UK, which is the UK National Institute for Health Data Science, Impact of the Year award.

    Background: Amitava Banerjee is Associate Professor in Clinical Data Science at University College London, and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at University College London Hospitals and Barts Health NHS Trusts. Ami is a researcher, educator and clinician with interests spanning data science, cardiovascular disease, global health, training and evidence-based healthcare. In the Big Data @Heart project, Ami is the co-lead for Work Package 2 “Disease understanding and outcomes definition”.

    Ami qualified at Oxford Medical School and trained in Oxford, Newcastle, Hull, and London. He has a master’s in public health from Harvard, did an internship at the World Health Organisation and DPhil in epidemiology from Oxford. He works across two busy tertiary care settings with both inpatient and outpatient commitments. He is subspecialised in heart failure. His clinical work very much informs his research and vice versa, whether in the evaluation of medical technology or the ethics of large-scale use of patient data.


  • European Heart Networks webinar on Big Data Research with patients


    On June 5th, the European Heart Network (EHN) hosted a virtual meeting on patients and public involvement in Big Data research.

    Sharing health data for scientific health research can boost innovation for diagnosis and treatments of various diseases and conditions, including cardiovascular disease. Support and cooperation of patients and the public is essential to achieve this goal. The EU-funded project BigData@Heart aims to create a platform for large-scale data research in cardiovascular health.

    During this webinar, Ghislaine van Thiel, Associate Professor in Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, Medical Humanities Research University Medical Center Utrecht, opened the discussion with a presentation of the BigData@Heart project and the main outcomes from a literature review on patients’ and public views and attitudes towards the sharing of health data for research. She then presented a draft survey of the BigData@Heart project aimed at increasing our knowledge in this field by gathering views of patients and the wider public.

    Patients and patient representatives from EHN members present in the virtual exchange, provided their feedback on changes to be made so that the survey is relevant and easy to understand from patients and the wider public. The group also discussed the launch of the survey in early autumn and EHN members' support in spreading it as wide as possible.

  • BigDataHeart online stakeholder event on July 7th 2020

    With the rapid development in health data science in recent years, in particular around electronic healthcare records and associated coded outcomes, there now exists a gap between technical innovation and robust clinical evidence.  For example, the broad use of coding schemes for outcomes in both observational and randomised research that lacks any structural basis or minimum quality requirements. 

    In this context, the BigData@Heart Consortium, which is a jointly funded by the EU and industry to address key unmet needs in cardiovascular data science, organised an online stakeholder meeting on July 7th, 2020 to guide future research and clinical decision support by raising awareness of current limitations and providing a framework for best practice approaches for

    1. ascertaining the quality and adequacy of coding, and

    2. integration and harmonisation. 

    The event brought together regulators, journal editors, industry, funders, payers, patients and cardiology professionals within the European Society of Cardiology. 
    After welcoming all delegates, Prof Dipak Kotecha (ESC, University of Birmingham) provided a brief overview of the BigData@Heart project and highlighted the aim of this preliminary meeting: understanding the perspectives of different stakeholders on the challenges and opportunities of electronic health record (EHR) coded data.


  • BigDataHeart latest papers

    Since the start of the BigData@Heart project in March 2017, 23 peer-reviewed papers have been published in relevant scientific journals with the highest impact factor (e.g. European Heart Journal, European Journal of Heart Failure, Nature Communications, BMC Medicine). Stay tuned …..More and more papers will follow! 

    All project publications are available at


  • What is the value of digital tools for cardiovascular patients

    Funded by the European Heart Network (EHN), this research review offers an overview of existing evidence on effectiveness of digital tools for:

    ·       primary prevention of cardiovascular disease

    ·       secondary prevention

    ·       heart failure management

    ·       home-hospitalisation for heart failure patients

    ·       diagnosis and management of cardiac arrythmias

    ·       remote monitoring of cardiac implantable devices

    ·       big data and artificial intelligence in cardiology.

    Overall, the paper provides as detailed a picture as possible on what is available and effective for cardiovascular patients and identifies where research investments are needed and what is important for digital health to scale up without worsening or creating new health inequalities.

    Click here for details 

    For further information:


  • BigDataHeart Upcoming Events

    ESC Congress – the world’s largest cardiovascular event – moves 100% online for the first time in its 70-year history, to create ESC Congress 2020 – Challenging Times, Infinite Possibilities.

    This cutting-edge, online event will take place from 29 August to 1 September 2020. It will disseminate the very latest cardiovascular research in the most engaging formats possible – and featuring key opinion leaders from around the world - over four days:

    • Practice-changing science presented by global experts;
    • New ESC Clinical Practice Guidelines discussed by the Guidelines task force;
    • Original research in the abstract programme – including the option to interact with the authors;
    • Specially designed tracks to guide you through a wealth of new science, including COVID-19 content.



    For further information: