The data aggregator Truveta and Boston Scientific have embarked on a partnership that tests how advances in healthcare system data sharing can lead to more nuanced insights into patient outcomes, as well as unprecedented information on the comparative effectiveness of specific medical devices and procedures.
While medical device companies increasingly incorporate artificial intelligence and machine-learning-driven innovations into their clinical and commercial strategies, the data they rely on to power their algorithms is often incomplete and flawed, leaving them vulnerable to challenges and competitive disadvantages.
The problem isn’t unique to the medical device industry or one of its own makings. Among the most obvious and prominent sources of patient data are healthcare systems. Yet, accessing the vast troves of patient data that are collected and stored within healthcare systems has been traditionally challenging, and as the device industry’s reliance on data grows, these difficulties have become glaring. Healthcare systems are reluctant to share data, beyond select increments, and because the US healthcare system is so fragmented, the information they provide cannot capture the full longitudinal journey of a particular patient over time—a goal that has become invaluable, especially for subsectors of the industry adapting to value-based care and focusing on chronic conditions.
The pandemic intensified these flaws and highlighted the gaps between the promise of access to healthcare system data and the reality. But it also led to fast-tracking of creative strategies about the best ways to overcome long-standing barriers to data sharing, including the frustrating reluctance of healthcare systems—often but not always for valid reasons—to share their data with external organizations.
An example of this new way of thinking and its potential to help medical device companies is embedded in a partnership between the two-year-old healthcare data aggregator Truveta and Boston Scientific.