Tomorrow’s breakthroughs today: more effective cohort recruitment is already here

By Paul Acton, SAS Ireland

This week, Fast Company predicted the 10 breakthrough innovations that will shape the world in 2025 and it’s no surprise 4 of the 10 were related to life sciences: more personalised drugs, better dementia and type 1 diabetes prevention, and routine DNA mapping.

The future sounds bright but there’s still the ‘small’ matter of rigorous clinical trials standing between the vision and the reality. And, as every CRO and pharma company knows, the key challenge is finding the patients and methodologies to run reliable, effective and cost-efficient trials.

So imagine if you could look at a ‘heat map’ of the globe and identify high-density patient populations for your particular area of study? Or have them submit live data, in real time, from their smartphones or other day-to-day gadgets? And what if you could gather real-world evidence that helps you respond to insight and quickly adapt trials?

It may sound like Tomorrow’s World, but all of the above are actually easily within your grasp. For example:

  • The clinical trial data transparency agenda means patient populations can be found more easily
  • Organisations such as the Central Office of Statistics, WHO, the Red Cross and academia hold a wealth of demographic and geographic data that can bolster your internal knowledge
  • Social media, patient forums, blogs, etc. are all a goldmine of real-world evidence
  • The ‘internet of things’ means patients can easily record and send accurate data from the field, with no intervention from physicians

Tapping into the above data is easy enough; the real secret to more efficient clinical trials is knowing how to mine the data to understand where your patient cohorts can be found. The technology to do this is easily accessible. For example, SAS® Visual Analytics enables you to take all available data and ask: where is my patient population? How best do I reach and interact with them? And what is the study telling me so far?

So, you might ask: if the data is there and the technology is there, why aren’t more life sciences companies embracing a more data-led approach? And it’s true, many researchers are still stuck in the past, relying on physicians to identify patient cohorts, and doing traditional analysis on narrow, internal data sets.

CIOs and CMOs must therefore work together to communicate the value of data analytics to the wider community, specifically:

  • Faster, broader recruitment of patient cohorts
  • Significant cost reductions through patient-led data collection
  • More valid and timely data
  • Better sharing for faster, open innovation

SAS works with life sciences companies all around the world to help them design more effective and efficient clinical trials, and to share best practice within their organisations. Contact me by email or Twitter to find out how SAS can help you release tomorrow’s breakthroughs today.

 

About SAS

SAS helps 70,000 organisations around the world take their data… And do amazing things… We help organisations turn large amounts of data into knowledge they can use, and we do it better than anyone. It’s no wonder an overwhelming majority of customers continue to use SAS year after year. Find out more, Why SAS?

Microscope Science
So, you might ask: if the data is there and the technology is there, why aren’t more life sciences companies embracing a more data-led approach? And it’s true, many researchers are still stuck in the past, relying on physicians to identify patient cohorts, and doing traditional analysis on narrow, internal data sets.

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