People Political Sciences

Preventing Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes Helps Keep European Health Systems Sustainable

, by Andrea Costa
Rosanna Tarricone participates in the JACARDI project through which the EU aims to couple social welfare and economic equilibrium in the long run

The challenge facing healthcare systems in developed countries hinges on the progressive aging of population, the growing incidence of diseases typical of older people, and the need to maintain the economic and financial balance of healthcare systems. This challenge can be met by focusing on prevention.

This is what the JACARDI (Joint Action on CARdiovascular diseases and DIabetes) project, f which officially kicked off today, is about. The scale of the project, including 53 million euros of funding from the European Union, is also demonstrated by the fact that some 77 institutions from 21 European countries, including non-EU members, are taking part. The leading institution is the Italian Istituto Superiore di Sanità, and Rosanna Tarricone of the Center for Research on Health and Social Care Management (CERGAS) at SDA Bocconi will lead a multidisciplinary research team in collaboration with the Imperial College (UK). The group is engaged in developing a simulation model of future health and economic impacts of health policies aimed at preventing and treating cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

JACARDI is designed to integrate best practices and/or cost-effective interventions across countries through transnational pilot initiatives, strengthening existing policies and programs. The initiative covers the entire "patient journey", from improving health literacy through screening and primary prevention among high-risk populations, to reaching people living with cardiovascular diseases and/or diabetes and their caregivers, improving service pathways, self-management and work participation. The widespread implementation of 142 pilot projects will ensure broad geographic coverage and outreach, while the adoption of a common implementation and evaluation methodology will minimize risks of failure and facilitate analysis of success and contextual factors. JACARDI will improve transnational collaboration, maximizing the exploitation of lessons learned through a clear strategy, engaging stakeholder groups and promoting integration and sustainability of approaches to achieve high-level impact, including the implementation of effective interaction, cooperation and co-creation between science and policy.

"Within this project, Bocconi will have a very important task," says Rosanna Tarricone. "As a non-healthcare institution, we will be responsible, together with Imperial College, for developing a simulation model to assess the impact in terms of clinical effectiveness, patient experience, economic efficiency, distributional equity and economic sustainability of health policies and economic interventions, through pilot studies that will be carried out in each JACARDI partner country."

"This project," Tarricone continues, "aims above all at ensuring that a particularly complex decision-making process, which will affect the quality of life of many citizens, at national as well as at European level, can take place on the basis of solid research evidence."