Outcomes research can be defined as “the study of the end results of health services that takes patients' experiences, preferences, and values into account—is intended to provide scientific evidence relating to decisions made by all who participate in health care.” Recently, the push has been for greater emphasis on outcomes and a new joint effort is a giant boost in this direction.
The story was covered by MD+DI and the article blatantly states “If device firms are not focusing on outcomes research, they will lose big time in the future.” The new venture, SharedClarity, that launched this month will “conduct independent studies on the long-term effectiveness of medical devices that are implanted into patients” according to the press-release by SharedClarity.
SharedClarity is collaboration between UnitedHealthcare and health care providers Dignity Health, Baylor Health Care System and Advocate Health Care. The goals of the group are simple:
- Use data from tens of millions of patients to study the long-term effectiveness of high-technology medical devices that have a high impact on patients
- Improve patient outcomes by identifying the best-performing devices in a number of categories (ie: stents, pacemakers, hip implants)
- Use the results of the studies to select the best devices for patients that will be a benefit to them and improve the quality of care
- Negotiate affordable purchasing agreements with device manufacturers- as stated on their website “smarter purchasing driven by independent clinical proof”
Will this independent research have a profound impact on the medical device industry? Currently the trend has been for medical device manufactures to sponsor or fund device studies like this one. Will an independent group change the way health care providers and insurers think?
Let us know your thoughts on this emerging outcomes research group and the idea of greater emphasis on long-term, evidence-based decisions for medical devices. Comment below!
Photo Credit: Chandra Marsono