The ways in which real-world data can complement data derived from clinical trials is a topic frequently discussed right now.

Physicians have routinely relied on real-world information to make more informed treatment decisions. But now this approach works hand in hand with real-time information directly from the patients. Patients are feeling more in control of their health and wellness through wearable devices, and these devices offer new sources of real-world data that can be used to guide decision-making.

Shanida Nataraja
Shanida Nataraja

Senior Director for AXON’s Real-World practice, Shanida Nataraja, believes the result of this shift is a healthcare system that is more focused on the individual patient and their outcomes.

"The availability of real-world data helps us gain a more comprehensive understanding of the broad value of different medical interventions, and helps us capture the full patient experience of their disease and its management,” said Shanida

“The use of advanced analytics techniques, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, will provide us with new insights into the effectiveness and safety of treatments.”

“The growing importance of real-world evidence in healthcare decision-making, along with the emergence of new trends in real-world research and analysis, is poised to have a profound impact on the future of how real-world research will be conducted, how large real-world datasets will be analyzed, and how real-world evidence will be used to inform decision-making on an individual patient level.”

Emma Kenny

Emma Kenny, Partner and Operations Director, agrees that real-world data have an important role to play and highlights that accessing data from all available sources can provide unique insights that can reap big benefits for the future of healthcare.

Emma said: “This may not be a new trend, but it is evolving rapidly. A recent study of the purchasing patterns of women in terms of buying painkillers revealed how those patterns could potentially predict ovarian cancer.”

“This is a great example of showing that when we think about data, we should consider broader data and not just isolated data. The insights we obtain from big data alongside clinical trial data can help with early diagnosis and the option of different, targeted treatments.”

Sam Barnes

Sam Barnes, Senior Director, studied a recent report from Deloitte that raised concerns about the return on investment and the productivity for research and development (R&D) among many of the top 20 pharma companies.

It cited rising development costs, lower forecast peak sales and a longer time for innovations to reach patients in the market. Sam believes this is leading to a tipping point for how the pharma industry is looking to transform the way it delivers R&D.

He said: “While this may seem a challenge for some, this actually offers significant opportunities for many companies, particularly biotechs, who are seeking partners for their emerging innovations.”

“I believe biotechs need to distill and deliver a compelling narrative about themselves and their innovations. That’s going to be key for those biotech companies seeking a pharma partner.”

“But also, there are many different companies that these biotechs can partner with, and so pharma companies will need to be clear on where their expertise lies, and have a convincing story, to engage the right biotechs and secure investment. The right partnerships will mean that together they can bring these breakthroughs to patients faster.”

Personalizing medicine through artificial intelligence and digital technology will become even more common in the years ahead. Pharma is examining the advantages of including real-world evidence alongside the results of clinical trials. While the use of real-world data is not new, the advantages it has in combination with newer technologies are giving an advantage to R&D.

AXON has the expertise to guide clients in navigating new terrain to get the best results for their products and, ultimately, for patient outcomes.