EHRA-PATHS: Addressing multimorbidity in elderly atrial fibrillation patients

Read on to learn about the EHRA-PATHS project, led by Professor Hein Heidbuchel, Antwerp University and Past-President of the European Heart Rhythm Association (2018-2020). The project received a €6 million subsidy from the Horizon 2020 BHC24 Programme. Prof. Heidbuchel described his experiences in receiving our Funding Application service.


Reflecting on the partnership with Catalyze

“The partnership with Catalyze was highly effective: without the partnership with them, we would not have succeeded. We could not do this on our own. I look forward to the continued collaboration during the execution of the awarded project.” – Prof. Heidbuchel


Elderly atrial fibrillation patients suffer from comorbidities

Despite more than 50 million European citizens suffering from multimorbidity, healthcare systems remain focused on single diseases, although mounting evidence implicates the interconnected whole. In practice, this means that the complex needs of multimorbid patients and caregivers are not well addressed through current care-pathways. This is particularly relevant to patients of atrial fibrillation (AF), a heart rhythm disease characterized by an irregular beating of the atrial chambers of the heart. Of all the forms of arrhythmia, AF is the most common, and is associated with 5-10 fold increased risk of cardiovascular and neurological conditions, such as heart failure, stroke and dementia. Out of all AF patients in Europe, 10.6 million (70%) are elderly patients (>65 years). For these patients, comorbidity is prerequisite, as AF itself usually manifests from an underlying condition, such as hypertension, obesity or diabetes. In fact, the average AF patient has 5 comorbidities.


Full funding application support…

“We were extremely happy to have help from Catalyze with the coordination of the full project submission and the communication between all the consortium partners” – Prof. Heidbuchel


Existing care-pathways insufficiently address multimorbidity

Rising prevalence of underlying conditions combined with an increasingly aging population means the number of elderly AF patients is expected to rise to 20 million by 2060; a whopping 9.5% of the elderly population. Due to the existing care-pathways, there is a high risk of underdiagnosing, replicating diagnostic tests, and adverse drug-drug interactions in multimorbid, elderly AF patients. Combined with the adverse health risks associated with the current treatment paradigm for multimorbid AF patients, care for these patients currently costs European healthcare systems up to €178 billion per year. Thus, there is a clear need to improve care for multimorbid, elderly AF patients.


… an intermediary between partners…

Catalyze did a fantastic job as an intermediary to consolidate the budget allocation between the consortium partners” – Prof. Heidbuchel


The goal: creating holistic, inclusive and personalized treatment strategies

The EHRA-PATHS project, led by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and its constituent the European Heart Rhythm Association, aims to tackle these issues by addressing multimorbidity in elderly AF patients through interdisciplinary patient-centered, systematic care pathways. EHRA-PATHS will lead to transformative improvements in the clinical practice of AF toward holistic, inclusive and personalized treatment strategies. This will lead to an estimated reduction of €12-18 billion in the yearly European healthcare burden of multimorbid, elderly AF patients. The multidisciplinary team includes 12 renowned clinics and/or research centers in 10 European countries. Catalyze is a partner in the project where we are delivering the Project Management work package.


…and help with full design, layout and structuring of the grant proposal.

“We were very pleased with the way Catalyze helped in structuring the grant proposal, from content to layout and the design of nice figures, which really helped to get the project message across” – Prof. Heidbuchel


Catalyze was thrilled to work with Prof. Heidbuchel on his successful application to the H2020 BHC24 Programme. We are continuing our collaboration with Prof. Heidbuchel through delivering project management for the full duration of the EHRA-PATHS project.


Total funding amount: €6 million

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