Improving communication between patients and doctors

Identifying use of treatments with clinical data
Watson Health
3-minute read
Perscription drug bottles

SmartAnalyst Inc. provides comprehensive, integrated solutions based on its deep understanding of science, the market and the key business decisions that its customers face.

One of SmartAnalyst’s customers wanted to know more about psoriasis patients’ typical progression from topical remedies to oral medications to injectable biologic treatments.

Instead of using clinical trial data, which is usually older and limited to specific medications and homogenous patient groups, SmartAnalyst turned to the IBM® Watson Health® team and its tool for extraordinarily detailed, cutting-edge research: IBM Explorys® data.

At the time of the study, the Explorys data contained de-identified, longitudinal data on more than 50 million unique patients and 344,000 unique providers, facilitating robust real-world evidence generation for decision-making.

Person injecting medication in their hip

Explorys includes EHR data on more than

54 million

unique patients

Explorys data has been used in

thousands

of studies

The IBM Explorys data allows us to see how patients are really treated — not just how we think they are treated.
Eros Papademetriou
Health Economics and Outcomes Research Senior Director, SmartAnalyst Inc.
doctor giving a presentation
The IBM Explorys data also gives us a unique opportunity to see how real people are using the drug. When you look at treatment patterns and progression in real-world practice, a number of new factors come into play.
Eros Papademetriou
Health Economics and Outcomes Research Senior Director, SmartAnalyst Inc.
Identifying treatment patterns
The IBM Explorys data also gives us a unique opportunity to see how real people are using the drug. When you look at treatment patterns and progression in real-world practice, a number of new factors come into play.
Eros Papademetriou
Health Economics and Outcomes Research Senior Director, SmartAnalyst Inc.

Eros Papademetriou, Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) Senior Director at SmartAnalyst, describes the company’s approach: “First, we used various criteria to define psoriasis patients as precisely as possible; then we created a cohort of more than 6,500 patients. The IBM Explorys data allowed us to look at these patients’ journeys over the course of three years and develop a treatment pattern algorithm to identify when medications are being used in succession and in combination.”

The Explorys data set revealed that many patients move from topical therapy to injectable biologics rather quickly — the median time was 206 days, which may not be enough time for some topical medications to take effect. However, for the subgroup of patients who were prescribed oral agents before biologics, the median time elapsed was 488 days. As a result, SmartAnalyst and its customer concluded that offering oral agents can significantly delay the need for biologics. Further, the team surmised that maintaining patients on effective topical treatments may help minimize the need to switch to biologics. The pharmaceutical company is developing a plan to work with insurance organizations and physicians to encourage patients to remain on topical medications longer and to try oral agents before switching to biologics. Biologics are more expensive than topical and oral agents, plus they require injections weekly, every two weeks or monthly.

Investigating further

“The IBM Explorys data set played a critical role in the study,” says Papademetriou.

He adds: “The IBM Explorys data also gives us a unique opportunity to see how real people are using the drug. When you look at treatment patterns and progression in real-world practice, a number of new factors come into play.”

Finally, Explorys data offers insight into research worthy of further investigation. As Papademetriou explains, the team was intrigued to discover that in more than half of the patients who tried an injectable biologic — typically the final line of treatment — the prescriber was a general practitioner, not a dermatologist. This suggests a need to educate general practitioners about psoriasis medication, and the pharmaceutical company is eager to explore this approach.

“They definitely want to know more about the link between physician specialties and the typical patient journey. I see that as being a great opportunity to dig deeper into IBM Explorys data,” says Papademetriou.

SmartAnalyst Inc. logo
About SmartAnalyst Inc.

SmartAnalystExternal Link provides comprehensive, integrated solutions based on its deep understanding of science, the market and the key business decisions that its clients face. The company deploys agile, cross-functional project teams that are responsive to client needs. By using an experienced team of experts, SmartAnalyst helps biopharma companies make key decisions at the disease, asset and portfolio levels.

About IBM Watson Health

Watson Health is a data, analytics and technology partner for the health industry. Supported by the innovation of IBM and intelligence of Watson, we are committed to helping build smarter health ecosystems. Through the combination of our deep industry expertise in health, data and analytics, actionable insights, and reputation for security and trust, Watson Health is working together with its clients and partners to help them achieve simpler processes, better care insights, faster breakthroughs and improved experiences for people around the world. Learn more at ibm.com/watson-health.

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SmartAnalyst Inc. logo
About SmartAnalyst Inc.

SmartAnalystExternal Link provides comprehensive, integrated solutions based on its deep understanding of science, the market and the key business decisions that its clients face. The company deploys agile, cross-functional project teams that are responsive to client needs. By using an experienced team of experts, SmartAnalyst helps biopharma companies make key decisions at the disease, asset and portfolio levels.

About IBM Watson Health

Watson Health is a data, analytics and technology partner for the health industry. Supported by the innovation of IBM and intelligence of Watson, we are committed to helping build smarter health ecosystems. Through the combination of our deep industry expertise in health, data and analytics, actionable insights, and reputation for security and trust, Watson Health is working together with its clients and partners to help them achieve simpler processes, better care insights, faster breakthroughs and improved experiences for people around the world. Learn more at ibm.com/watson-health.

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