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How To Illustrate Your RWE To Payers
Data visualization tools are demystifying real-world evidence.
Real-world evidence would be the short straw in a game of Pictionary. It is messy and hard to conceptualize. The trouble is, as pharma attempts to demonstrate its value to payers, a clearer picture is precisely what is sought.
Data visualization is an effective way to distil its value. It generally falls into two categories: interactive and static.
Interactive visualization is where you experiment and engage with your real-world data. It is a dynamic, flowing process, says Johan Liwing, Senior Director Global Market Access RWE Partnerships, Janssen. He likens it to directing a documentary film in which you bring together moving parts to show an overall description of reality.
Janssen’s interactive visualization tool enables teams to analyse vast quantities of real-world data according to numerous variables. The data are then aggregated and analysed in graphs and charts.
Presenting your findings to payers is where the static visualization steps in. “Interactive visualization is used to learn from the data. We then present findings to payers in static media of Excel or PowerPoint.”
Liwing suggests the static visualization doesn’t quite do the interactive visualization justice, however. “Visual structures are extremely powerful for sharing data transparently,” he says.
Giving payers access to interactive visualizations would provide a deeper understanding of how a pharma company arrives at its conclusions; reducing a lot of the back and forth, suggests Liwing.
Software companies such as BaseCase are plugging this gap. Its proprietary software platform enables companies to build and launch interactive visualization tools that both pharma and payers can interact with. The interactive visualizations are distributed in the form of interactive apps that can be accessed on different devices such as iPads, laptops and shortly mobile phones.
How you visualize the RWE depends on the questions being asked and what you are trying to show, but “graphical representations are generally the best because it is very easy to see differences on a column chart or differences on a map if you use different colours for different areas,” says Atlanta Kassatly, Vice President of Consulting, BaseCase.
Heatmaps tend to be an “attractive and effective” means of demonstrating how a disease affects a geography or any parameter distributed across a particular area, adds Kassatly.
It is also a time-saver when you have a short window to demonstrate the value of your RWE. Intuitive and easy to understand visuals cut corners, she says.
The personalization element of these tools goes down well with payers, says Kassatly. Payers essentially want to know how a device or product will impact their specific populations and serve their unmet need, and how it will help them contain costs.
With interactive visualization tools it is possible to edit and filter down these values. “If we are showcasing how a new drug could save costs, it's possible for the user to enter the costs that are specific to their setting and the values for their specific population, what their particular distribution of disease looks like and so on. So, they get a very specific and tailored idea of how using the product would impact them personally and their population.”
To straddle the line between erudite and accessible, knowing your audience is paramount, says Kassatly. “We try to keep it as simple as possible on the first glance and then with pop ups and tab boxes, we layer additional information.”
Keeping the visuals simple yet engaging, and not overburdening the user with information is the biggest challenge, says Kassatly. You need to winnow out irrelevant information and ensure the relevant information is easy for the user to understand.
This rings as true for payers as it does for the key account managers, she says. “We need to make sure that the key account managers on the client side who are using the app feel comfortable with them. If they don't feel comfortable with the tool and what it is showing, they can't explain the data, they won't want to go out and use it.”
From a system perspective, speed can be a sticking point, says Liwing. You need to be able to work with big data and slow systems can lag.
The problem of speed also runs deeper, he says. “There are really good visual structures like tree graphs, interactive maps and other coordinate systems. These types of techniques have been used in other industries. We can learn from those, harness the data visualization techniques, and help address the complex medical challenges we face.”
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To measure the impact of the visualisation tools, BaseCase has capabilities built into its software to track and see how its apps are being used in the field. It can assess its uptake in different areas, whether it be view time per page, clicks on a button or selections from various options. It can identify the pages that didn’t generate much interest, were left very quickly or interactive elements that were not interacted with.
For Liwing, the proof is in the time takes to do an internal analysis of big data from beginning to end. “Taking the time to learn more in the beginning sets you up for a quicker path to the final analysis.”
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