Industry Voices — Harnessing a watershed moment for real-world data - Fierce Healthcare

Across every facet of life, 2020 tested our resolve and resilience. COVID-19 stretched our systems to the breaking point, exposing inexcusable gaps and limitations in our systems.

As a force of creative destruction and reinvention, however, it also prompted new conversations, broke through barriers and accelerated the pace of innovation. This has been as much the case in the realm of real-world data (RWD) as it has anywhere. Even as the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines gets underway, it’s clear that many of the trends in RWD that gained prominence in this year of crisis will continue to be dominant forces into 2021 and beyond.

The pandemic inspired an all-hands-on-deck mentality, sparking cross-sector collaboration and real-world data sharing in the interest of speeding our understanding of the virus. The seminal example of this is the COVID-19 Evidence Accelerator, an initiative launched in June 2020 by the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA in collaboration with Friends of Cancer Research, which created a forum for data holders and researchers to pool data and share insights to speed understanding of COVID-19 treatment and response.

As Susan Winckler, chief executive of the Reagan-Udall Foundation, noted, while this diverse data community was brought together to address COVID-19, its approach to collaboration will generate “learnings and understandings that are going to extend far beyond the pandemic.”

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