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Covid-19 Real-World Evidence System Created

Synthetic biology

(Gerd Altmann, Pixabay)

22 Apr. 2020. Two health care data science companies are offering a system for assessing proposed treatments from health records data on patients with Covid-19 infections. Aetion, in New York, and HealthVerity in Philadelphia are extending their current relationship to extract real-world medical evidence from electronic health records, for advising drug makers and regulators on Covid-19 treatments until results are published from ongoing clinical trials.

Aetion is a health care analytics and technology company that applies big-data analytics to patients’ electronic health records and other sources to derive answers on safety and effectiveness of treatments for pharmaceutical and biotech companies, health care providers, insurance companies, public health authorities, and regulators. HealthVerity collects and integrates de-identified health care data, with suitable patient-privacy safeguards, from a variety of sources including electronic medical records, insurance claims, pharmaceutical prescriptions, and images to provide analytical insights for public and private sector health care decisions.

In January, Aetion and HealthVerity formed a partnership to produce validated data sets in HealthVerity’s Marketplace service for better evaluating proposed therapies. HealthVerity’s Marketplace offers de-identified data from more than 330 million patients that users can search by diagnosis, treatment, procedure, lab test, or biomarker. The data sets are also shared through Aetion’s Evidence Platform that provides real-world evidence meeting industry standards for decisions on safety, effectiveness, and value of proposed treatments.

In their new agreement, the companies are establishing a system from Aetion’s platform and HealthVerity’s data sources devoted to assessing prospective Covid-19 treatments. The system tracks use of proposed therapies, as well as outcomes indicating safety and effectiveness, provided along with trends and data visualizations. And the companies say they’re continuously updating the system to provide real-world evidence on Covid-19 treatments in near real time. HealthVerity already provides health care utilization trends and indices affected by the race to treat Covid-19 patients.

“Our offerings,” says Aetion CEO Carolyn Magill in a company statement released through PRNewswire, “use HealthVerity’s comprehensive, real-time data to obtain decision-ready insights that can help meet the need for accelerated approvals and access, while maintaining our high bar for evidence to support critical safety and effectiveness determinations.”

The joint system is expected to help decision-makers in public health agencies and companies make sense of the daily publication of new data on Covid-19 therapies and vaccines from a wide range of sources and studies, particularly as health authorities wait for results of randomized clinical trials in the coming months. In addition, the companies cite data showing the pandemic is discouraging individuals from taking part in clinical trials, with nearly two-thirds of clinical trial locations indicating patients are less likely to enroll in new studies. As a result, alternative, yet still validated resources are needed in the absence of clinical trial data.

As reported by Science & Enterprise in April 2019, Aetion is in a project called RCT Duplicate — RCT stands for randomized clinical trials — with the Food and Drug Administration and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. RCT Duplicate is evaluating real-world evidence for simulating and supplementing clinical trial data.

“There is no lack of fragmented data around Covid-19 symptoms, tests, and diagnoses,” adds Andrew Kress, HealthVerity’s CEO, “but the challenge lies in assembling data about affected patients in a meaningful way for research purposes.”

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