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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.