The value of real-world evidence during the Covid-19 outbreak

4 May 2020 (Last Updated May 4th, 2020 15:19)

As the Covid-19 outbreak continues to take its toll on global markets, real-world evidence (RWE) is set to become the most influential emerging technology to help in the fight against the Covid-19 outbreak, according to the latest poll on GlobalData’s Pharmaceutical Technology website. In this poll, which was completed by 935 of its readers during 6-20 April, more than one-third of the respondents indicated that real-world evidence will have the greatest impact in the management of Covid-19. A smaller percentage of the readers identified telemedicine (28%) and artificial intelligence (AI) (20%) as the most important emerging trends.

The utilisation of RWE in infectious disease control is not a new concept. During the Ebola outbreak in 2014, forecasters successfully used Global Epidemic and Mobility (GLEaM) simulations that combined real-world data on populations and their mobility with rigorous stochastic models of disease transmission to predict the global spread of the disease. By understanding where and how quickly the outbreak is likely to spread, the same tracking models could be adapted to fight any upcoming Covid-19 outbreaks. Even though most countries have announced decreasing death rates from Covid-19, a vaccine against Covid-19 is expected to take more than one year to reach the market, and scientists predict that there will be more than one wave of the outbreak. As such, real-world evidence may become an essential tool in trying to suppress Covid-19.

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