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How Real-World Data Can Improve Outcomes in Cancer Patients

Samara Rosenfeld
FEBRUARY 27, 2019


In recent years, experts working in cancer care have learned that there is a limitation to clinical trial data. This is because trials are offered to such a small population, so only 3 to 5 percent of cancer patients end up enrolling.

Andrew Norden, M.D., MPH, MBA, Chief Medical Officer at Cota Healthcare, told Inside Digital Health™ at HIMSS that due to the limitation, it is hard to find out what proportion of the data is applicable to the broader population of cancer patients.

>> READ: Smart Shirt, Real-World Data Shine Light on Surgeon Stress

But with real-world data, experts in cancer care — or really any specialty — can learn lessons from the care that larger populations are receiving all the time. Real-world data can provide insights on which drugs are effective in particular populations, the side effects of the drugs and can reduce the cost of care for patients.

And Norden is excited that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking strides to advance data quality by proposing a framework to further the use of real-world evidence across drug and biologic development efforts.

For over 20 years, electronic medical records have been collecting data, but it is extremely difficult to pull the data to learn patterns of outcomes and cost of care.

New technologies have been developed to make it easier to pull data and the recognition by the FDA proves that the agency is open-minded that the data can further the healthcare industry as a whole.

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