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Life Sciences Companies Tap New Tech to Target (and Even Predict) Rare Disease

Komodo Health

The classic adage advises: “work smarter, not harder.” That means focusing resources on where they will do the most good. It’s a strategy that is pragmatic, intuitive, and as old as time itself. Yet its execution proves decidedly more complicated in the world where the stakes are among the highest: life sciences innovation.

Bench research, clinical trials, and FDA approvals are the well-recognized mile markers on the road to an effective drug treatment. But in between those stages come pivotal steps that have been notably less scientific – from identifying the strata of patients a new treatment is most likely to help to quickly and efficiently recruiting those patients for ensuing trials.

Until recently, life sciences companies were largely shooting in the dark with these processes, launching provider engagement and education initiatives in the hopes of reaching a small fraction of their target audience to try a new therapy. The challenge was underscored during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when treatments were rushed to be tested for efficacy amid a disorganized and chaotic environment that exposed the limitations of the old way of doing things.

Now, thanks to advances in patient data analytics, life sciences companies have been able to bring the same level of scientific rigor to their provider targeting efforts that they have in their drug development pipelines.

New technology breakthroughs are enabling these companies to quickly identify hot spots for a particular disease, flag potential misdiagnoses – and sometimes even predict when and where patients with a rare disease will show up seeking help.

This level of visibility – the ability to pinpoint the specific patterns of diagnosis and treatment that are most closely aligned with a new therapy – was not available even five years ago. That’s because the underlying data that makes this kind of analysis possible was siloed in proprietary databases, making it impossible to track from patient to patient and provider to provider. This left the life sciences industry with a fragmented, incomplete view of the patient journey.

Komodo Health has unlocked that data, creating a comprehensive Healthcare Map that leverages de-identified, real-world data from 15 million daily clinical encounters from hundreds of sources, including payers, labs, prescriptions, and government data, to capture the entire breadth of encounters between patients and the healthcare system – all while preserving the confidentiality of individual patients.

That has changed everything. Now, life sciences companies can track patterns of treatment, concentrations of patient mix, and other medical, geographic, and socioeconomic trends to identify gaps in care, spotlight specific provider and patient populations, and target new therapies.

Put simply, by reconstructing the complete patient experience for hundreds of millions of patients, we’ve given life sciences companies the insights they need to put their breakthroughs in the hands of patients faster.

Today, that capability is helping life sciences companies target rare diseases, educate the right providers, and systematically upend legacy processes that were slower and less effective. Following are some exciting examples of how our technology is being used by life sciences leaders.

Predictive Analytics to Anticipate Undiagnosed Rare Disease

Imagine if providers could piece together all of the disparate symptoms, hereditary factors, and early warning signs of an ultra-rare disease and intervene before it manifests itself.

Using our Pulse predictive alert system, one of our clients has been able to scour the complete healthcare journeys of the 320 million patients in our platform to find signals consistent with a diagnosis of metastatic renal cell carcinoma.

In 20–30% of cases, this hard-to-identify cancer has already progressed to metastatic by the time patients are diagnosed. Using our analytics, our client was able to identify trends in patterns of patient medical histories that let them predict the likelihood that a specific provider will see a new metastatic renal cell carcinoma patient within the next eight weeks. That insight enabled them to get their treatment – and important scientific information – into the hands of physicians at the optimal moment to effect a positive outcome.

Educating the Right Providers Earlier

In another example, a medical device client that has developed a breakthrough nerve grafting device used in restoring feeling and functionality to damaged nerves has been able to use our platform to identify surgeons whose patients would benefit most from their technology. By analyzing specific caseloads and key criteria for surgical patients around the country, the client was able to quickly pinpoint the groups of physicians with the greatest need for engagement and education, and reach out to them in a targeted, efficient way.

Higher Fidelity Data, Better Results

Armed with software built on comprehensive data, life sciences companies are creating value beyond the pill, taking the lead in the healthcare industry when it comes to precision-targeted, patient-centered interventions. The results are faster delivery of much-needed treatment, more efficient physician engagement and education, and a fundamental shift in the way new therapies are developed, marketed, and distributed.

Best of all, this is only the beginning. The technology enabling this revolution is growing more powerful by the day, piecing together fragments of information to create a complete picture of the US healthcare landscape.

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