By Alexis Brand 

For decades, when approving medications for human consumption in the United States, researchers have turned to clinical trials to figure out if the drugs actually work and what their possible side effects are. For example, when you watch TV and see commercials for different medications, they always talk about the clinical trials that tested the drug before they start rattling off how many people were miraculously cured by this wonder drug. This is usually followed by all of the harmful side effects of the drug, before they tell you that it can change your life for the better. But the problem with these findings is that clinical trials are done in near perfect conditions so that the researchers can be sure that the only difference between the groups of people are that some get the placebo and some get the actual drug. This often doesn’t translate well into the real world because it’s almost impossible to model your life after a science experiment to make sure you get the same exact results. That’s where real world evidence (RWE) comes into play. 

According to the FDA, RWE is healthcare information derived from multiple sources outside of typical clinical research settings, including electronic medical records, claims and billing data, product and disease registries, and data gathered by personal devices and health applications. RWE can be found from four sources: clinical data, administrative and claims data, patient-generated and reported data, and emerging data sources including social media and cross-industry data collaborations. Experts in the field do not believe RWE can replace clinical trials, but instead complement the information recorded from them. They can also help with the reimbursement of the people who are using a specific medication or treatment if they do not seem to do what they claim within a particular time period. The requirement of reimbursement puts more pressure on pharmaceutical companies and doctors giving treatment to make sure that their patients are ready for their respective therapies so that time and resources are not wasted. That’s where JourneyLabs come into play. 

With the JourneyLabs platform, doctors and companies have the ability to track patient progress before, during, and after they receive treatment. The before part is just as, and maybe more, important than the rest of the journey because the setup determines how the rest of the journey is going to go. For example, our orthopedic journey tracks different aspects of patient health so that they are the healthiest they can be at the time of their surgery. This allows recovery to be a lot less strenuous on the body and lowers the risks of some possible side effects. Healthcare providers are also able to track their patients’ journeys during their recovery, even when they are not physically seeing them, so that if anything unusual or problematic happens, patients are able to notify their physicians and call for emergency services, if needed.

By having everything in one place, it is easy to track progress and see what works and what does not work so that the process can be improved for the next set of patients. Less needed treatment also means less money spent, while still getting the best care possible, and with JourneyLabs, that idea becomes a reality. 

Alexis Brand in an intern for JourneyLabs and a lover of all things soccer and tennis.  She graduated from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Biology, where she also played soccer. In her free time, you can find her biking or in the supporters’ section at Orlando City Stadium. For more information about JourneyLabs or to set up a demo of the JourneyLabs platform, email us: info@journeylabs.io.

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