Article | July 13, 2021

The Promise And Peril Of "Real-World Data"

Source: Datavant

By Travis May


In the US, millions of healthcare events occur each day. Patients visit their healthcare providers for annual check-ups, fill and refill prescriptions for medication, undergo complex treatment for a chronic condition, or use wearable tracking devices to understand their activity and sleep. Each of these interactions can be thought of as an experiment, which collectively can unveil insights on a disease and how to best treat it.

This information about normal doctors interacting with normal patients, outside the context of a tightly-controlled clinical trial, is called “real-world data.”

There are numerous advantages to using real-world data yet for all of the momentum, we still have a ways to go. One of the reasons that so few sponsors incorporate RWD into their study design is the challenge of sourcing the right data on the right patients to answer the research question at hand. In this blog we explore challenges sponsors are currently facing when incorporating RWD and how we aim to help them overcome them.

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