PCORI and AHA Partner to Identify Critical Research Needed to Improve Care for Cardiovascular Diseases

WASHINGTON, DC   — The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and the American Heart Association (AHA) will announce today a new joint initiative that will combine the outreach power of crowdsourcing with the lure of challenge prizes to speed the identification of critical research needed to improve care for cardiovascular diseases (CVD).

AHA Chief Executive Officer Nancy Brown will announce the PCORI-funded initiative at the start of the 2015 AHA Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Fla.

Through crowdsourcing, the project will tap the collective wisdom of thousands of patients, clinicians, family caregivers, and researchers to generate a prioritized list of critical CVD research questions of mutual interest.

The initiative will specifically seek input on critical gaps in the evidence about which CVD prevention, diagnostic, and treatment approaches work best for which patients based on their needs and circumstances — the types of questions that PCORI-funded comparative clinical effectiveness research, or CER, is designed to answer. It also will serve AHA’s commitment to advancing precision cardiovascular medicine, which seeks to refine care for patients based on their particular characteristics.

The initiative will offer prizes for the most innovative, scientifically rigorous, and patient-centered research ideas. The project also will produce a model for optimizing the use of crowdsourcing tools and strategies that PCORI can use to generate research priorities and innovative ideas in other disease areas.

“The pressure from patients is mounting as expectations rise for more evidence-based resources to help make informed health decisions and for more precise medicine,” Brown said. “AHA and PCORI will capitalize on this unprecedented opportunity to address a critical challenge and accelerate research. We look forward to working with PCORI and communities interested in making a difference by identifying critical questions that can transform the research paradigm and set the stage for innovative comparative effective cardiovascular disease research.”

“This exciting initiative advances PCORI’s patient- and stakeholder-driven approach to clinical research, which engages end-users of study results in all phases of the research process, including identifying research needs and topics,” said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH. “We’re delighted to partner with AHA and its network of more than 30 million lay advocates and professional members in this initiative. By optimizing the use of a crowdsourced challenge model as a way to hone in on the greatest unmet needs in cardiovascular disease, we’ll also learn how we can best apply this model to a range of other conditions.”

More than one in every three U.S. adults has some form of CVD. It is one of the leading causes of death and illness in America. Research has led to many advances in CVD care and PCORI has supported a range of CER studies addressing key questions related to the disease (see more details). Likewise, AHA’s collaborations and support for CVD research have yielded much progress (see more details).

However, the burdens that CVD places on individuals, families, the nation’s productivity and its healthcare system are high and many research opportunities remain. As the U.S. population ages, the demand will increase for more and better ways to allow Americans to live healthy and productive lives before and with CVD.



The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to continually seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work. More information is available at www.pcori.org.

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800- AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute: 

Christine Stencel, Associate Director of Media Relations, 202-570-9275; [email protected]

American Heart Association: 

Amit Chitre, Interim EVP Communications, 585-414-3199; [email protected]