The use of real-world data to support the commercial optimization of drugs is increasingly becoming an integral part of the healthcare decision-making process.

That’s because real-world data – such as that gathered from health insurance claims, electronic health records or a combination of the two – gives us a more complete view of how patients are managed outside of a clinical trial.

One application of this data is to identify and quantify opportunities related to referral events, and the role of primary care physicians (PCPs) in patient diagnosis, treatment and management. It can also uncover specific patient types who are more likely to experience certain referral routes, as well as revealing how patients are co-managed by multiple specialists and PCPs.

In a recent real-world-data-based project, SmartAnalyst analysed patients with a dermatological condition who were being referred and co-managed by multi-specialty physicians.

With a drug in phase III trials, our client wanted to know the physician specialties involved with different aspects of the patient journey, in order to inform their launch strategy. Using an insurance claims database, our analysis identified and described the patients both with the disease and the specialists they interacted with. We also explored the role of the specialists during the course of the disease, including the diagnostic tests they ordered leading up the disease diagnosis, the specialty of the diagnosing physician, and whether the patient was referred to specialists either for diagnosis or treatment.

This study augmented the client’s existing insights on the entire patient journey, from pre- to post-diagnosis, addressing questions such as:

  • How do patients with confirmed diagnoses flow through various specialties and PCPs?
  • What is the referral pathway?
  • Which physicians (PCP or other specialties) manage specific patients from diagnosis through treatment and follow up?
  • What is the role of PCPs among patients with a confirmed diagnosis?
  • Who are the key stakeholders / influencers in the patient journey and what are the critical intervention points and triggers?
  • Are there other specialists that help co-manage these patients?

Thanks to this analysis, we reshaped the client’s understanding of the role of PCPs and specialists in diagnosing, treating and managing the disease. By changing the client’s preconceived notions about the types of physicians caring for these patients, we helped them improve and strengthen parts of their launch plan.

Real-world data analysis complements traditional approaches to understanding the patient journey. It helps to build more accurate, detailed scenarios that provide greater insights into how patients are managed and the roles of key influencers across the treatment journey.

To find out more about SmartAnalyst’s real-world data analysis services, contact us here