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Oriola’s renewed digital research platform takes real world evidence studies to the next level


Digital research tools are now more topical than ever, when people are instructed to avoid social contacts due to the coronavirus. Last week, Oriola’s renewed digital research platform was taken into use for the first time in the national cancer study. The renewed digital platform enables real world evidence (RWE) studies that comply with the principles of fair data economy: health data is used in a transparent way.

National cancer study is a joint project of Oriola, the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare and the Association of Cancer Patients in Finland that started in February 2019. The study takes a comprehensive look at the total costs of cancer treatment and at the effectiveness of the treatment, including effects on a patient’s quality of life. The aim is to promote the implementation of cost-effective cancer treatments.

Now, the cancer study is the first study using Oriola’s renewed digital research platform to gather information directly from patients. Until now, patient-reported data (PRO) has been gathered through Oriola´s extensive research pharmacy network in Finland and with the help of the Finnish Association of Cancer patients by asking the patients to fill in an electronic survey. Now, the patients can answer to the survey on their own with strong identification at any time, at any place.

Secure way to handle personal data builds trust and brings new business opportunities

More importantly, the renewed digital research platform complies with the principles of fair data economy and GDPR. In practice, this means that studies are compiled with pseudonymisation procedure which means that patients are authenticated only when they give their permission to use their health data but can’t be identified after that.

“In addition to a strong identification, we have also, for example, added a so-called consent wallet, which allows an individual patient to give a dynamic research specific consent to use their health data. This is important in building trust and commitment,” says Heli Salminen-Mankonen, Head of Data Driven Business and Research Services.

The digital research platform will also bring new business opportunities, for example, in the introduction of patient support programs for new patients and in recruiting patients to clinical studies.

“We are really excited about the possibilities we have ahead of us,” says Heli.