Four key areas of need identified to address challenges of aging and CVD in APAC, says report

One area in particular where a shortage was noted was for local, regional and ethnic specific data from drug trials, which would make it easier to demonstrate the relevance of novel therapies to particular populations.
By Dean Koh
05:32 AM

German pharma giant Bayer, in partnership with NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), recently launched the Healthy Hearts, Healthy Aging Asia Pacific Report at Innovfest Unbound 2019. The report examines the cardiovascular (CV) health imperatives aligned with population aging in the Asia Pacific, and highlights the important shift in the region’s health systems from a traditional acute care model to one with an increased focus on preventive, value-based care.

Across the Asia Pacific region, socio-economic, geographic, demographic, and ethnographic differences create unique challenges for each country when dealing with the growing impact of CVD and aging. Experts in CVD and health policy from across eight countries (i.e. Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines) were consulted for the report to:

a) establish the current and predicted future burden of CVD on the region’s health systems,

b) examine the role of health innovation in addressing the unmet needs in CVD prevention and care, and

c) gather recommendations on how different stakeholders can collaborate to enhance the adoption of health innovation in the long-term preventive care of CVD patients.

FOUR BROAD AREAS OF NEED

The four areas identified for policy makers to focus on to address the challenges of aging and CVD are:

• The need for health systems to shift from a traditional acute care model to one with increased focus on preventive, value-based care. This includes earlier detection and better management of patients at risk of developing CVDs and its related complications at the community level.

• The need to improve education of the public, primary care physicians, patients and policy makers to achieve optimal control of CVD risks.

• The need for speedier adoption and greater access to innovative therapies and technologies to improve patient outcomes, particularly for the prevention of serious CV incidents such as strokes and heart attacks.

• The need for data in understanding current disease burden and planning for the future. One area in particular where a shortage was noted was for local, regional and ethnic specific data from drug trials, which would make it easier to demonstrate the relevance of novel therapies to particular populations. As health systems focus on value-based care, there is a need for more socio-economic data to support the cost effectiveness of new innovations.

THE LARGER TREND

Although medical advances have significantly reduced death rates due to major CV events such as strokes and heart attacks, the broader challenges of coping with their related disabilities, frequent hospitalisations and intensive long-term care remain for many survivors of these events, according to a 2014 article published in the International Journal of Stroke.

Beyond direct healthcare costs, it was projected in the The Global Economic Burden of Non-communicable Diseases report that CVD will be responsible for $15.6 trillion worth of lost economic output globally between 2011 and 2030, as it can cause both those affected and their caregivers to miss work or drop out of the workforce altogether. 

In Europe, there are also similar pain points – new models of care that incorporate existing technologies have not been created because there is no shared strategy among national legislators, industry, hospitals, physicians and patient organisations, according to a position paper published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

ON THE RECORD

“To address the mounting challenges with population aging, it is imperative for health systems to shift from a traditional acute care model to one which focuses on maintaining health and keeping people out of hospital. Care for elderly CVD patients must be integrated into communities and the home to support better adherence to preventive lifestyle measures and medical therapies which are geared towards prevention of disability-causing major cardiovascular events such as strokes and heart attacks. 

Health systems must also embrace innovations across the ecosystem of medicines, technology, and elder care to support this transformation,” said Associate Professor Angelique Chan, Executive Director of the Centre for Ageing Research and Education at Duke-NUS Medical School in statement. Associate Professor Chan is a key contributor to the report.