Utilizing Real-World Data Captured During Commercial Programs


Applied Clinical Trials

In this three-part blog series, we look at how electronic platforms can support and enhance data capture in several types of RWD programs: observational studies, pragmatic trials, and commercial programs.

The role of Real-World Evidence (RWE) in assessing the value of new drugs is increasingly important. RWE typically consists of many types of Real-World Data (RWD) captured by patients directly reporting on their own health outcomes as they take a new drug in their everyday lives.

These patient reported outcomes (PROs) are captured in observational studies, pragmatic trials, and commercial programs. Each of these types of RWD program involves different methods and RWD capture challenges, which are being overcome by novel technological solutions.

In previous blogs we explored this in relation to observational studies and pragmatic trials. In the last of this three-part series, we look at how the healthcare industry is starting to harness patient generated RWD as a valuable by-product of commercial programs.

What are commercial programs?

Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly implementing commercial programs that engage with patients to offer support as they take new treatments in the real world. These patient support programs usually occur after the new drug has been licensed and is available on the market. Commercial programs range from simple apps to more advanced programs that help patients manage their health and maintain their daily routine while taking the treatment.

By setting up these programs, pharmaceutical companies are aiming to improve patient support and protect the integrity of their brand. An important by-product is the rich source of RWD that they generate.

How can technology support RWD capture in commercial programs?

Capturing data in this manner enables companies to engage with patients and support them on a personal level while protecting their brand. One of the by-products of a commercial program that employs electronic data capture is humanistic RWD. This can be used to enhance health outcomes, educate patients, and facilitate discussions between patients and care providers.

An example of an electronic data capture platform effectively supporting commercial programs and RWD capture is TARGET My Hives, a digital health network set up to support everyone affected by chronic urticaria (hives). 

The community that uses this digital health network can interact with others suffering from chronic urticaria to reduce feelings of isolation. The network enables patients to set goals for themselves, share their results with each other, and connects them with physicians to help manage their condition. Discussions on digital networks like these can generate valuable information about patients’ specific conditions and treatment journeys that hold the potential to support RWD programs.

Applying technology to RWD programs

This blog series has outlined how digital platforms are enhancing the efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and reliability of RWD capture in observational studies, pragmatic trials, and commercial programs.

Such RWD programs improve the quality of RWE, allowing healthcare stakeholders to make more effective and informed decisions that will benefit patients’ lives.


Tim Davis, VP, Digital Patient, ERT

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