KI part of NextGen for personalised cardiovascular medicine

Researchers from the Vascular Surgery Group at the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, have teamed up with 20 clinical research centres, universities, professional associations, SMEs and non-profit representative organisations of civil society in a new EU Horizon Europe project NextGen, aiming to develop the next generation tools for genome-centric multimodal data integration in personlised cardiovascular medicine.


The EU Horizon “NextGen” project, under the European Health and Digital Agency (HADEA), is run through a large international collaboration coordinated by Utrecht University Medical Center (NL). The project has been funded for 4 years with 7.6 MEUR totally, and at Vascular Surgery KI the team is led by Ljubica Matic (PI) and Ulf Hedin (co-PI).

Personalized medicine is emerging as a crucial strategy for improving treatment of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), involving tailored, cost-effective approaches for prevention, diagnosis, monitoring and treatment. To this end, it is imperative to integrate large amounts of CVD healthcare and genomic data available, by support from artificial intelligence (AL) and machine learning (ML) algorithms. However, there are major challenges to privacy and governance when it comes to integrating multi-modal data, in addition to diverse standards, distinct data formats, complexity and volume of data.

NextGen aims to make the most of the AI/ML advancements by bringing various stakeholders together in developing ways to process large amounts of individual CVD data, complying with GDPR rules about how data is handled, stored and used across collaborators. The project adopts a privacy-by-design, integrated data governance and federated learning models to solve this issue and guarantee secure access to multi-modal data across multiple jurisdictions, in alignment with similar initiatives such as the “1+ Million Genomes”, UK Biobank and the European Health Data Space:

Ljubica Perisic Matic, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery

Assoc Prof Ljubica Matic

“Several real-world, use-case studies will showcase the efficacy of NextGen tools and will be incorporated into the NextGen Pathfinder framework, comprising five collaborating clinical sites. For example, we will jointly work on refined risk stratification in CVD, prediction of future adverse events, response to drugs, etc. NextGen, funded as a flagship EU project, will serve as a self-contained data ecosystem and a comprehensive proof of concept for the implementation of AL/ML technologies in personalised CVD medicine”, says the KI PI for this project, Assoc Prof Ljubica Matic.

The large NextGen consortium includes also the Earlham Institute (UK), Wellspan Health (USA), Queen Mary University of London (UK), Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana (CH), EURECOM (FR), Göthe Universitat Frankfurt (DE), HUS (FI), University of Virginia (USA), Technical University Münich (DE), European Society of Cardiology (FR), Human Colossus Foundation (CH), HL7 International Foundation (BE), HIRO Microdatacenters B.V. (NL), Drug Information Association (CH), MyData Global (FI), DPO Associate Sarl (CH), DataPower Srl (IT), LiKE Healthcare Research Gmbh (DE), NEBS (BE).

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