Today, real world data is becoming a key type of support, not only for pharmaceutical companies, but also for payer institutions. This kind of real world evidence enables both pharmas and payers to understand how drug products are actually working for patients in the real world.
For years, pharma companies have been buying data from many different sources to endorse the value of their drugs in the market. Recently instead, payers have been demanding that drug companies provide real world evidence and real world data to back-up their product value claims and differentiate one drug from another ( when both are competing in the market as a remedy for the same, given condition).
Initially to meet this payer demand, pharma companies were collecting real world data from sources including: EMRs, mHealth/IOT devices, pharmacies, and many other health market environments. Much of these real world data types were fragmented, very difficult to link together, and differed in format (containing structured or unstructured data).
Many Oracle customers/partners have tried to collect and report on real world data from myriad sources, spending huge amounts of resources and time on the tasks. The structured data in EMR systems didn’t always contain what was sought. Often, the sought data was located in an unstructured portion of an EMR system, which meant the data had to be parsed out to be found. In addition, data among various patients and different EMR systems was inconsistent, missing fields, and exposed poor data quality issues, due to lack of standardization.
Although today the technology exists to gather, search, and report on data from many sources, there is an additional issue that greatly impacts our ability to move forward. EMR systems were not built to demonstrate pharma company use cases. They were designed to support billing for services and maintain the patient records.
The healthcare industry and the pharmaceutical industry must work together to change processes and develop standards in support of pharma company use cases. This can to provide the real world data that payers, patients, and regulatory agencies, alike, find so valuable.
James Streeter is Oracle Health Sciences.Global Vice President, Life Sciences Product Strategy.