The European Union has approved a major European cardiac rehabilitation project. This project is called EU-CaRE and the objective is to improve the quality of life and independence of elderly heart patients. In addition, it must put the brakes on the impending explosion of billions of Euros in health care costs for this patient group.
A network of leading heart centers and top research institutes from seven European countries started 1 May to compare, improve and tailor cardiac rehabilitation programmes for the elderly.
EU-CaRE must lead to new guidelines and treatment protocols. What is new is that eHealth will be deployed on a large scale for these patients. The Isala Heart Center (Zwolle, The Netherlands) is, as a non-university center, in the unique position to be able to carry out the coordination of this project. The project is led by dr. Arnoud van't Hof, cardiologist.
The EU-CaRE project
Improving the quality of life and independence of elderly heart patients is a major challenge in Europe. Cardiovascular diseases lead, each year, to more than four million deaths in Europe. The disease burden of cardiovascular disease is a also a major problem, especially in the elderly. Due to the ageing population, the number of elderly cardiac patients will rise further in the coming decades and exert additional pressure on the healthcare system.
There is convincing evidence that cardiac rehabilitation has positive effects on the quality of life for heart patients and also on the reduction of healthcare costs. Awareness of prevention through cardiac rehabilitation has, since the beginning of this century, gained momentum. As a consequence, there are many national, and even regional variations of cardiac rehabilitation programmes. This has led to a fragmented approach to cardiac rehabilitation in Europe. In addition, the knowledge about the effectiveness of the individual components of cardiac rehabilitation and its suitability for specific groups of patients is limited. EU-CaRE aims to create a breakthrough in the care of heart patients with new European guidelines and treatment protocols for cardiac rehabilitation for the elderly.
EU-CaRE partners are: Isala (Zwolle, The Netherlands), Region Hovedstaden (Copenhagen, Denmark), Assistance publique – Hôpitaux de Paris (Paris, France), Universität Bern (Bern, Switzerland), Stiftung Institut für Herzinfarktforschung (Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Germany), Servizo Galego de Saúde (Santiago de Compostella, Spain), Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Parma (Parma, Italy), Diagram B.V. (Zwolle, The Netherlands), Università degli Studi di Roma ‘la Sapienza’ (Rome, Italy) and MobiHealth B.V. (Enschede, The Netherlands).
Horizon 2020 is the European Union programme to promote European research and innovation. EU-CaRE is receiving funding from the Horizon 2020 programme. The grant application submitted by EU-CaRE was rated excellent by the European Commission. The success rate for the respective funding round in which EU-CaRE participated was only 5.9%.
Isala Heart Center
Within the Isala Heart Center Zwolle (Netherlands) is a team of professional and dedicated cardiologists, thoracic surgeons and staff ready to treat patients with a wide variety of heart problems. The Isala Heart Center excels in quality and professionalism. In addition to patient care, training and scientific research are of paramount importance. The Isala Heart center has the ambition to be among the European leaders.