Leveraging Real-Word Data for Healthcare Business Development

Real-world data, including Electronic Health Records (EHR) are an integral part of the delivery of patient care. Physicians around the world utilize various software to longitudinally track patient histories, symptoms, diagnoses, medication utilization, and treatment outcomes. While each patient record provides insight into the health status of an individual, this same data in aggregate can be leveraged by pharma and medical device companies to gain insight into the current market landscape and patient treatment patterns specific to their therapeutic area.

Identifying Market Strategies for Pharmaceutical Companies Using Electronic Health Records

Client Need

A large US based pharmaceutical company working in the addiction science space needed to understand the market opportunity for their marketed injectable product. They were interested in the factors that may contribute to the adoption of their new drug in the inpatient hospital setting. Literature existed to support the US market size and treatment guidelines for addiction, however limited information on treatment patterns, length of stay (LOS), and readmissions, which inform resource utilization and costs during hospitalization was available.

BSP Solution

BSP performed an EHR analysis to map out hospitals that have other products developed by the company on their hospital formulary, and to identify those that were already prescribing the newly developed injectable product. Patient journeys were followed utilizing longitudinal data that provided an in-depth look at initial treatment for substance abuse disorders, use of medications, switching patterns, diagnoses, procedures, and comorbidities. Additionally, BSP tracked inpatient and outpatient management of patients with addictions, changes in care setting, therapeutics, treatment pathways over time and patient discharge and readmission information. Treatment patterns were segmented by payer type to understand the correlation between payers and medication prescriptions.

Results Achieved

Using EHR data BSP was able to help the client understand potential points of contact in the hospital setting (e.g. ED versus inpatient care) for their therapeutic and identified patient types that may be more motivated to initiate treatment and continue using their therapeutic. Hospital mapping was used to identify the characteristics of potential target hospitals to increase product sales. EHR data provided insights into demographics of repeat vs. single-time patients such and understanding of patient diagnosis inaccuracies, treatment switching patterns by class, and prescription of comfort medications., etc. Moreover, data was combined with information provided through in-depth interviews with hospital executives and physicians to understand the drivers, such as insurance coverage and hospital formularies, that influence treatment initiation and switching. As part of the final deliverable BSP created a hyperbolic tree visualization to step through the many layers of data to present it in a simple and succinct manner.

Through these efforts, our client was able to understand characteristics of the hospitals and patients that their sales force should target and modify their training accordingly.

Key Takeaways

Effective data analytics and asking the right questions when utilizing and evaluating real-world EHR data enabled BSP to provide compelling evidence that was used to support product value propositions. Given its numerous applications, EHR data analytics presents a growing opportunity for life science and healthcare organizations. When effectively leveraged, EHR data can help to modernize the research process, increase the lateral flow of information across business areas, and drive greater organization-wide efficiency.


This article was written by Anjani R. Parikh, MPH, Santosh Telang, MS, and Kunal Ladoya, MD. Our team of healthcare¬†consultants, data scientists, and medical professionals would like to hear your thoughts on our data-driven approaches and discuss how BSP’s diverse capabilities can be used to create an effective market strategy for your product.

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