Reducing real world data lag time for improved patient outcomes

In recent years, there has been an increased focus on real world evidence to advance medical science and improve patient quality of life. Biopharma companies are investing in the use of real world data (RWD) to accelerate innovation.

To support continued use of RWD as a cost-effective complement and, in some cases, an alternative to time-controlled randomized clinical trials, RWD solution providers must continue to invest in timely open-source data to maximize the benefit to medical science.

The Professional Society for Health Economics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) has cited real world evidence (RWE) as the number one trend in healthcare decision making for the second year running[1]. The suitability of RWD, the FDA said in a 2017 guidance report, depends on its relevance (whether data directly addresses intended use) and reliability (completeness, accuracy and timeliness)[2].

The timeliness of RWD impacts the relevance and reliability of a research study. However, data lags can be quite lengthy, to the detriment of their applicability and relevance to disease investigations. Data lags can extend the duration of diagnostic studies substantially, ultimately delaying patient access to life-saving medications.

Biopharma companies require low latency RWD with timely refreshes to allow their commercial brand teams a real-time understanding of how provider and patient behaviors impact patient outcomes.

Long real world data lag times impact drug development efficiency

Biopharma companies rely on timely RWD updates to support their decision making and investments to develop reliable and consistent clinical research. The timeliness and validity of RWD aids in the identification of unmet patient needs and facilitates insights into real world clinical practices. Additionally, low latency RWD offers insight into the complete clinical context of disease, including the onset of complications and comorbid conditions.

The greatest potential of timely RWD lies in improving the reliability of research populations compared to randomized clinical trials.

Broader and more recent insight into patient populations can help companies understand patient interactions with healthcare professionals and drug adherence patterns. Low latency RWD updates play an integral part in the development of rigorous longitudinal research that has far-reaching ramifications on the efficacy of therapeutics and subsequent patient care.

The treatment of patients experiencing acute disease is quite dynamic. Treatment modalities can evolve, resulting in changes in patient outcomes and prognosis. Even in the context of a stable disease, an extended data lag may result in delayed insights regarding the patients’ response to therapeutics, which could result in inaccurate analysis of disease progression and therapeutic benefits.

Harvesting actionable insights from real world data in near-real time

In the United States, real world healthcare data is typically derived from medical and pharmacy claims and electronic health records (EHRs). Because of the high degree of variability in RWD sourcing, the delivery cadence of healthcare data in the marketplace can extend up to 90 days. Prolonged data latency would prohibit researchers from a complete understanding of the patient journey, making them wait weeks or months for complete clinical outcome records. With the implementation of cloud-based infrastructure, electronic transmission of health information and documentation of clinical care from multiple sources can shorten these timelines, with medical and pharmacy claims data now being able to be updated on a weekly basis.

The timeliness of RWD allows healthcare innovators to gain actionable insights without the inflated costs and extended time periods of a randomized controlled study design. Data providers with a consistent cloud-based infrastructure equip biopharma professionals with RWD that enables low latency data delivery. For this reason, biopharma companies engage in extended data license periods with low latency data vendors that allow them to develop longitudinal examination of contemporaneous patient populations.

With cutting-edge technology, ClarivateTM offers reduced claims data lag time from 90 days to 10 days, providing life sciences professionals with near-real-time insight into treatment pathways. In addition to data recency, Clarivate provides claims data assets that are longitudinal and fit-for-purpose, allowing for comprehensive and timely examination of complex diseases, faster therapy progression and care for patients in need.

For more information on how Clarivate can help you get intelligent insights faster, visit Real world data | Medical claims & EHR data | Clarivate.


About the author

Dona Petrozzi brings more than a decade’s-worth of experience in real world data and clinical nursing practice to her work at Clarivate, where she helps customers maximize the strategic value of healthcare research in order to achieve greater patient access to care and more positive clinical outcomes.


[1]IPSOR, 2022-2023 Top 10 HEOR Trends, 2023
[2]FDA, Use of Real-World Evidence to Support Regulatory Decision Making for Medical Devices, August 2017.