Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the major national diseases in Finland as well as in the European Union (EU) as a whole. Although CVD mortality is falling – thanks largely to healthier lifestyle choices and better treatment options – 49 million people in EU were living with CVD in 2015. That’s equivalent to one person in ten.
Due to population ageing, the number of CVD-affected people in the EU has grown substantially over the past three decades. Six million new cases were diagnosed in 2015 alone, a 13% increase compared to 1990. Finland stands out with an increase of alarming 37 %.
CVD not only affects quality of life, but also leads to substantial healthcare and other costs. In the EU, the cost was EUR 218 per capita in 2015, for a total annual cost of some EUR 110 billion. Finland stands out again, with CVD costs of EUR 365 per capita. This is due to substantial costs in inpatient care compared to many other EU countries. Non-healthcare costs – such as production losses due to mortality and morbidity, as well as informal care – almost double the total costs.
CVD risk factors fall into two groups: behavioural factors (such as diet, low physical activity, smoking, alcohol use, etc.) and medical risk factors (such as high systolic blood pressure, high total cholesterol, high fasting plasma glucose, and high body mass index, or BMI).
Today, dietary factors are the largest contributor to the behavioural risks of CVD across Europe, while high systolic blood pressure makes the largest contribution in terms of medical risks.
Early and thorough care is key in treating CVD, so there is a fundamental need for early diagnostics. Typically, a GP refers potential arrhythmia patients to secondary care for long-term monitoring with an ambulatory ECG device, and the patient may need to wait several weeks for diagnosis. RemoteA is changing all this.
“With RemoteA eHealth Services, the GP can order the Holter monitoring at his/her appointment,” says cardiologist Lauri Toivonen. “This means that the GP can already diagnose arrhythmia, for example, at the first point of care. For the patient, the service means a more convenient way of monitoring and, most importantly, the possibility to be diagnosed in just a few days.”
The Remote Diagnostic Service Platform is also many times cheaper than monitoring in secondary care, creating considerable opportunities for saving. In addition, the platform saves the limited resources of the public health care sector, in that only patients who have been diagnosed with medical needs that require special health care are directed for further treatment.
The Remote Diagnostics Service Platform improves healthcare, benefitting patients, healthcare institutions and societies by making diagnosis cheaper, better and faster.
Source: European Cardiovascular Disease Statistics 2017 (European Heart Network)