Background: A 1.5-day interactive forum was convened to discuss critical issues in the acquisition, analysis, and sharing of data in the field of cardiovascular and stroke science. The discussion will serve as the foundation for the American Heart Association's (AHA's) near-term and future strategies in the Big Data area. The concepts evolving from this forum may also inform other fields of medicine and science.
Methods and results: A total of 47 participants representing stakeholders from 7 domains (patients, basic scientists, clinical investigators, population researchers, clinicians and healthcare system administrators, industry, and regulatory authorities) participated in the conference. Presentation topics included updates on data as viewed from conventional medical and nonmedical sources, building and using Big Data repositories, articulation of the goals of data sharing, and principles of responsible data sharing. Facilitated breakout sessions were conducted to examine what each of the 7 stakeholder domains wants from Big Data under ideal circumstances and the possible roles that the AHA might play in meeting their needs. Important areas that are high priorities for further study regarding Big Data include a description of the methodology of how to acquire and analyze findings, validation of the veracity of discoveries from such research, and integration into investigative and clinical care aspects of future cardiovascular and stroke medicine. Potential roles that the AHA might consider include facilitating a standards discussion (eg, tools, methodology, and appropriate data use), providing education (eg, healthcare providers, patients, investigators), and helping build an interoperable digital ecosystem in cardiovascular and stroke science.
Conclusion: There was a consensus across stakeholder domains that Big Data holds great promise for revolutionizing the way cardiovascular and stroke research is conducted and clinical care is delivered; however, there is a clear need for the creation of a vision of how to use it to achieve the desired goals. Potential roles for the AHA center around facilitating a discussion of standards, providing education, and helping establish a cardiovascular digital ecosystem. This ecosystem should be interoperable and needs to interface with the rapidly growing digital object environment of the modern-day healthcare system.
Keywords: AHA Scientific Statements; clinical trials; data; epidemiology; ethics; mobile health; preclinical.
© 2015 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley Blackwell.