Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of premature death (30% of all deaths) and disability in Europe and worldwide (WHO), costing the EU economy almost €196 billion a year. With changing demographics and deteriorating lifestyle this situation will worsen considerably, which is neither economically or socially sustainable. Effective Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) can significantly improve mortality and morbidity rates, leading to longer independent living and a reduced use of health care resources. However, uptake of traditional community-based long-term (phase III) CR is very low across member states (approx. 11%) and is further diminished by low subsequent adherence rates. Key reasons for this include: severe lack of programmes, travel time, scheduling issues, lack of peer mentoring, and low self-efficacy associated with poor exercise technique and perceived poor ‘body image’ (not wanting to exercise with large groups of ‘strangers’).

Researchers from the University of Glasgow’s Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment (HEHTA) group, led by Professor Andrew Briggs, have joined a consortium of 8 European partners to undertake the European Commission Horizon 2020 project ‘PATHway- Technology enabled behavioural change as a pathway towards better self-management of CVD’. The health economic evaluation will evaluate the health outcome and resource use consequences of the PATHway intervention.

PATHway proposes a radically novel approach to Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) that will ensure a paradigm shift towards empowering patients to more effectively self-manage their Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), set within a collaborative care context with health professionals. PATHway will provide individualized rehabilitation programs that use regular, socially inclusive exercise sessions as the basis upon which to provide a personalized comprehensive lifestyle intervention program (exercise/physical activity (PA), smoking, diet, stress management, alcohol use and medication compliance) to enable patients to both better understand and deal with their own condition and to lead a healthier lifestyle in general. This will be made possible by the provision of an internet-enabled, sensor-based, home exercise platform that allows remote participation in CR exercise programs at any time, from home. At the end of the first year of the project, the European Commission reported that the consortium is clearly advancing state-of-the-art.

The HEHTA group will be hosting a Research Station at the European Researchers’ Night at the Glasgow Science Centre on 30th September 2016, as part of Explorathon’16.

Find out more about PATHway at


Find out more about HEHTA at