American Heart Association Launches Precision Medicine Tool

The AHA Precision Medicine Platform is expected to greatly improve cardiovascular care.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recently announced the launch of a precision medicine platform that will allow researchers, physicians, biologists, computer engineers, and trainees to access vast amounts of cardiovascular and stroke data.

The goal of the novel cloud-based platform is to improve the care of patients at risk of developing heart disease, according to a press release.

Now, the AHA Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine is requesting that owners of cardiovascular and stroke findings share their datasets to ensure the inclusion of all available information needed to treat and prevent cardiovascular diseases.

“We have blown away the barriers and welcome all to join this game-changing platform that promotes us working together as one community to ultimately benefit patients worldwide,” said Jennifer Hall, PhD, chief of the AHA Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine. “The platform provides an opportunity to learn, search and discover in new and efficient ways, and we will keep working with the community to weave in new diverse data to help us drill deeper and enrich our understanding.”

Multiple organizations have already contributed data from clinical trials, epidemiologic studies, registries, and real-time health data, including AstraZeneca, Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, Dallas Heart Study, Duke Clinical Research Institute, Intermountain Health, the International Stroke Genetics Consortium, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and Stanford University, according to the release.

"The increasing breadth and depth of medical data presents a tremendous opportunity to generate more nuanced and precise pre-diagnoses. However, leveraging this data requires tools capable of integrating data of diverse origin,” said Gabriel Musso, PhD, VP Life Sciences, BioSymetrics Inc, who has been using the platform since the initial phase. “The AHA Precision Medicine Platform can empower researchers with both the framework and tools to ease the burdens of data harmonization, amplifying the insight available from their own data.”

This platform is the only of its kind centered around cardiovascular diseases and stroke, and will likely transform the future of disease management, according to the AHA.

“I am so excited for the potential the AHA Precision Medicine Platform brings for doing research across data sets to find consistent research results, and replicate and confirm research,” said early adaptor Laura M. Stevens, a pre-doctoral National Library of Medicine fellow. “The platform makes big data analyses much quicker and easier. It’s a great foundation for implementing precision medicine and research in a clinical setting. I can’t wait to see where this will take us as a research community.”

Accessing the data will be free of charge, but a small fee will be collected for cloud computing capabilities, according to the release. Any revenue generated by the platform will be re-invested to further the advancements made by other AHA research projects.

Since the platform includes data from government, academic, pharmaceutical, and patient communities, numerous types of information will be gathered in an easily accessible space. This will allow scientists to have access to deeper resources that will generate research opportunities aimed at improving care, the AHA reported.

“By working together on datasets we have the ability to test the speed, agility and transparency of research,” Dr Hall concluded. “With your data and your efforts, the AHA Precision Medicine Platform can help enable your discoveries of novel underlying causal factors of heart failure, new diagnostic biomarkers to predict stroke, or exponential new approaches to precision care for those with cardiovascular diseases and stroke.”