Overall approach & methodology

ESCAPE-NET will be conducted through a system of 6 different Work Packages (WPs).

Work Package 1

WP1 (Leaders: Dr. Tan [AMC] and Catalyze) will focus on management of the ESCAPE-NET project. This is a supportive WP to ensure that the project’s main objectives are realized on schedule and within budgetary limits, and that activities of all partners involved are in conformity with the EC contract and the consortium agreement.


Work Package 2 & 3

In WP2 (Leaders: Dr. Tfelt-Hansen [REGIONH] and Prof. Jouven [UP]) and WP3 (Leaders: Prof. Zwinderman [AMC] and Dr. Kanninen [BCP]), data of all project partners will be combined. The collection of data of cohorts will be centralized in a core facility. The pre-specified inherited, acquired, and environmental variables will be uploaded into a central database that can be accessed online. The databases generated at the different project sites will be harmonized to make them suitable for combined subsequent analysis in WP3. A means for secure storage of data and data exchange will be generated, taking into account ethical requirements (e.g., for the exchange and use of patient data across various EU sites). Initial user training and user support throughout the project will be provided. To support complex bioinformatics analyses of large-scale phenotype and genotype data, a parallelization framework will be generated and optimized. This framework will facilitate running statistical and tools and analyses in parallel in different calculation environments, including computer cluster and cloud environments. Support for additional statistical analysis tools, as well as data types, will be provided as necessary. This WP will also provide the integrative and analytical framework necessary for data analysis in WP4 and WP5.


Work Package 4

In WP4 (Leaders: Dr. Tan [AMC] and Prof. Gislason [REGIONH]), novel innovative strategies for data integration and analysis will be implemented and further developed. In particular, the cohorts will be genotyped (one of the first times that genotyping of such large SCA cohorts has become possible), and the latest genetic imputation methods of genotype samples will be performed using deep-sequenced reference samples. Analysis of the role of inherited, acquired, and environmental risk factors, and their interactions, will be conducted by integration of SCA status (SCA vs. non-SCA in control cohorts) and survival status (survival vs. non-survival) with genetic and gender data, and data on acquired, environmental, and (in the case of survival analysis) Utstein factors to identify risk factors that either in isolation or by interacting with each other contribute to the occurrence of SCA and survival after SCA.


Work Package 5

WP5 (Leaders: Prof. Svensson [Karolinska], Dr. Blom [AMC], Dr. Ristagno [IRFMN]) focuses on data integration and analysis towards improved treatment of SCA. The disparities in survival rate after SCA and treatment strategies for SCA across Europe provide the additional opportunity to evaluate and compare treatment strategies. Therefore, the relation between first-response treatment of SCA and outcome in different European countries will be evaluated (WP4) by analyzing Utstein variables. Given that survival may partly depend on patient characteristics, such characteristics will also be taken into account. Particular emphasis will be put on new smartphone application-based and ICT-based technologies aimed at improving success of first-treatment strategies, in particular, text message-based and app-based deployment of lay rescuers, and waveform analysis of VF signals (Dr. Ristagno).


Work Package 6

Throughout the project, WP6 (Leaders: Prof. Schwartz [AUXO], Dr. Dagres [EHRA], Prof. Böttiger [ERC]) ensures efficient and effective dissemination and communication of the results to stakeholders and promotes furtheruptake of the results via education activities. The results of the ESCAPE-NET project can be translated via EHRA and ERC into changes of guidelines for clinical practice. The close collaboration between EHRA and ERC is expected to promote a more integrated approach to SCA in the community than common at present, and a better chance of solving this general health care problem.


Work Package 7

WP7 (Leaders: Dr. Blom, Prof. Willems [AMC]) ensures continuous and coherent attention to ethical issues at all levels of the ESCAPE-NET consortium. This WP focuses on existing and newly evolving ethical requirements, and ensures that ethical and legal requirements are met throughout the project.