Read more: Evidation Study Shows Digital Intervention Increases Flu Vaccination Rates Among People with Diabetes

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2020 - A Transformative Year for the Industry and Evidation

Unprecedented events in 2020 brought about change and disruption across the  public and private sectors, and digital health was no exception. Below we highlight some of the ways in which digital medicine was transformed in 2020, and how Evidation Health played a role in this transformation. We will examine five themes which illustrate the profound changes taking place: public health; clinical study design and management; understanding health beyond the clinic walls; helping individuals manage their health journey; and the digital measures regulatory framework.

Public Health:  The COVID-19 pandemic brought public health to the forefront of national attention, and exposed the importance of quickly developing a comprehensive understanding of population signals, public behaviors and community attitudes. Throughout the year Evidation used its expertise in measuring and analyzing behavioral and physiological data from everyday life to understand infection risk, impact on physical and mental health, and perspectives concerning vaccination. 

  • Harnessed the power of our Achievement community to create COVID Pulse, which regularly tracked over 150,000 individuals’ attitudes, experience and health during the pandemic
  • Engaged with over 60,000 individuals over many months through our Achievement platform to understand their behavior, feelings, and perceptions related to a COVID-19 vaccine 
  • Published findings from research conducted in conjunction with Sanofi showing that digitally administered intervention is effective in increasing the influenza vaccination rate for people living with diabetes
  • Led research funded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to identify when and where first responders may contract COVID-19
  • Collaborated with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC Health) and Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine on a nationwide study to understand and uncover COVID-19 symptoms and the mental health impact of the pandemic

Clinical Study Design and Management: Medical product developers needed to rethink their approach to clinical studies given the limitations on in-person care during the pandemic, driving more virtual study recruitment and remote monitoring. At the same time, the pandemic exposed the deep health disparities across ethnic groups. This, combined with  growing public movements advocating social justice and racial equality, has led to an increased commitment to ensuring representative populations in clinical trials. In 2020, Evidation collaborated with other leading organizations to rethink the clinical trial experience.

  • Generated evidence that virtually-recruited studies resulted in shorter recruitment times and a more diverse study population by conducting a retrospective analysis of studies virtually-recruited compared to those utilizing traditional recruitment methods
  • Launched  the Forward Momentum coalition to use digital data and tools to improve the lives of men with prostate cancer through enhanced representation, communication, and empowerment
  • Published a podcast in collaboration with Omada Health and Rock Health to discuss the power of decentralized trials to generate novel data and superior evidence

Understanding Health Beyond the Clinic Walls:  2020 highlighted the importance of understanding an individuals health and behaviors outside of the healthcare setting. The proliferation and advancement of consumer wearable technology has opened up meaningful opportunities to understand health in everyday life in the context of the ongoing pandemic. Many individuals learned their wearable devices were providing early signs of COVID 19 infection, which could enable them to get tested earlier. At Evidation we maintained our industry leadership in developing methods, generating evidence, creating patient experiences, and sharing our expertise to drive these changes forward. 

  • We were awarded an NIH R01 research project grant, in conjunction with USC and the Rand Corporation, to create a representative digital health dataset of person-generated health data (PGHD) in order to generate novel data science methods
  • Collaborated with Omada Health to validate improvement in real world outcomes for participants of the Omada for Diabetes Program
  • Joined the Digital Medicine Society (DiME) and other influential stakeholders in the Tour of Duty to drive the development and deployment of digital measures for remote patient monitoring

Helping Individuals Manage their Health Journey: Being able to understand and measure health outside the clinic walls can help empower individuals to better manage their health journey. We see three capabilities as being critical to this effort – the ability to engage the right individuals, motivate and inform action, and measure impact and refine. This virtuous loop of improvement will allow pharma to develop better products and ultimately capture greater value. We saw this need for these capabilities to accelerate in 2020, and we believe this year will usher in a new imperative across the healthcare ecosystem to engage, nudge, and measure in order to achieve better system-wide outcomes. 

  • Evidation joined forces with the American College of Cardiology to launch Achievement for Heart Health – an experience on our Achievement platform that will engage, inform, and motivate individuals to take action to improve their outcomes.
  • Collaborated with Sanofi to identify and motivate at-risk individuals to seek the flu vaccine 
  • Worked with J&J and Apple on the Heartline study to identify a target population at risk of atrial fibrillation, engage this population via tailored content, alerts, and suggested actions, and monitor engagement and completion of actions

Digital Measures Regulatory Framework: Government institutions and regulatory bodies around the world moved to create a framework for the use of patient input and digital measures, including the U.S. FDA’s issuance of Patient Focused Drug Development guidance, the establishment of the Digital Center of Excellence, and the issuance of the Digital Health Applications Act in Germany.  Evidation provides on-going expertise in support of these efforts.

  • Contributed to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) Biomarkers Consortium workshop on Remote Digital Monitoring for Medical Product Development to inform future operational and regulatory guidance
  • Two Evidation scientists were selected to be a part of the FDA’s Network of Digital Health Experts, a permanent pool of vetted experts available to share knowledge and experience regarding digital health issues with FDA staff

Future Outlook: The industry momentum from 2020 is expected to accelerate in 2021 as new products and methodologies are developed, the body of evidence grows, and the recognition of the power of digital medicine broadens. The coming year will underscore the next generation of patient engagement, focused on how to leverage technology to obtain a real-time understanding of how people experience illness, how their daily activities impact their health, and what personalized support they need to manage their health. Evidation’s impact on the industry will continue to expand as we grow our Achievement community, and strengthen our relationship with individuals to support the daily decisions that help them better manage their health.

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