Advances in High-performance computing (HPC) technology have reached the capacity to inform cardiovascular (CV) science in the realm of both inductive and constructive approaches. Clinical trials allow for the comparison of the effect of an intervention without the need to understand the mechanism. This is a typical example of an inductive approach. In the HPC field, training an artificial intelligence (AI) model, constructed by neural networks, to predict future CV events with the use of large scale multi-dimensional datasets is the counterpart that may rely on as well as inform understanding of mechanistic underpinnings for optimization. However, in contrast to clinical trials, AI can calculate event risk at the individual level and has the potential to inform and refine the application of personalized medicine.
Despite this clear strength, results from AI analyses may identify otherwise unidentified/unexpected (i.e. non-intuitive) relationships between multi-dimensional data and clinical outcomes that may further unravel potential mechanistic pathways and identify potential therapeutic targets, therebycontributing to the parsing of observational associations from causal links. The constructive approach will remain critical to overcome limitations of existing knowledge and anchored biases to actualize a more sophisticated understanding of the complex pathobiology of CV diseases.
HPC technology has the potential to underpin this constructive approach in CV basic and clinical science. In general, even complex biological phenomena can be reduced to combinations of simple biological/chemical/physical laws. In the deductive approach, the focus/intent is to explain complex CV diseases by combinations of simple principles.