The British Heart Foundation (BHF) and The Alan Turing Institute has announced that it has awarded £550,000 ($696,000) to data scientists and cardiovascular researchers to "to improve the lives of people living with heart and circulatory disease".
The program is part of a joint scheme between BHF and The Alan Turing Institute which funded six projects to researchers based at the Turing, University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, Imperial, King’s College London, University of Oxford, Newcastle University, University of Surrey and University College London
Professor Metin Avkiran, associate medical director at BHF, said: "As we enter the era of digital medicine, there's a growing need to foster excellence in applying data science solutions to cardiovascular problems. At the BHF, we recognize the enormous potential of data science and want to create an environment where we can realize that potential.
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"This funding is a major step towards using data science to make transformational improvements in preventing, detecting and treating heart attacks and strokes, as well as other heart and circulatory diseases."
BHF outlined that healthcare costs as a result of heart and circulatory diseases are set to be at £7.4bn ($9.35bn) per year in the UK. "Despite better diagnoses, surgical advances, and improved survival rates for those suffering from heart and circulatory conditions, coronary heart disease is still the cause of most early deaths in the UK".
"The potential for these research projects to help avoid those early deaths could be enormous," BHF said.
According to BHF, a second call for research grant applications will be made in January 2019, with submissions expected to be submitted from March to April 2019.