New tool uses analytics to manage cost of diabetes care
A new tool designed to proactively manage the cost of diabetes has been launched by Pharmaceutical Strategies Group (PSG), a US-based pharmacy consultancy firm.
Using data and analytics platform Artemetrx, the tool will allow employers and health plan providers to manage the total cost of diabetes care of the people they serve. They will be able to see the highest cost patients with diabetes in terms of drug and non-drug medical costs; identify at-risk patients such as those who are going to be hospitalised for diabetes; and provide independent analysis and validation of third-party diabetes management programs for people.
“This innovative functionality was the genesis for a complete modernisation of our Artemetrx platform,” said Rebekah Gregg, Senior Vice President of Product Strategy.
“PSG originally launched this Total Cost of Care feature to phenomenal success while focusing its functionality on specialty conditions. Our pharmacy analytics experts were quick to realise that there was incredible value in leveraging the richness of medical data for drug management of non-specialty conditions, especially diabetes.”
There are currently 34.2 million people with diabetes in America, and 88 million with pre-diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Diabetes is consistently the second most costly category for our clients,” said Michael Lonergan, RPh, President of PSG. “Last year, we identified $4.8 billion in actionable drug cost savings using Artemetrx because we leverage the value of integrated data and continue to enhance the platform.
"Seeing that diabetes is a pain point for clients inspired PSG to innovate in the diabetes space and build on our existing diabetes management capabilities with the release of this new tool.”
NHSX releases new data plans, experts call for transparency
Patients in England will get "greater control" over their health and care data according to new proposals set out by the government.
In a new draft strategy called "Data saves lives: reshaping health and social care with data", Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock says that more effective use of data will deliver better patient-focused care. "This strategy seeks to put people in control of their own data, while supporting the NHS in creating a modernised system fit for the 21st century which puts patients and staff in pole position."
Under the new plans people will be able to access their medical records from different parts of the health system through different applications, to access test results, medication lists, procedures and care plans.
The strategy, published by NHSX, the government department that sets policies for the use of technology within the NHS, follows delays to the creation of a central database of patient records amid concerns over data sharing and a lack of transparency, with critics saying that only a small proportion of the public were made aware of the plans and the choice to opt out.
Kevin Curran, senior member of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Professor of Cybersecurity at the University of Ulster, says that moving health records online raises concerns. "The move to an online app does seem like a natural progression, however there is a difference between having computerised records within our healthcare IT infrastructure and having those records reside on a public facing server.
"Having records inhouse limits the range and type of access – it's far more difficult for remote hackers" Curran said. "There are techniques that healthcare organisations can use to reduce the risk of future data breaches. One way is to make it ‘opt in’, so patients have the choice to decide whether their medical information is moved to a public facing service so that they can access it.
"However, those who do not opt in or download the app instead should have their records hosted in a non-public-facing cloud service. This way, if a data breach does occur, those who never used the app, or not wanted to, will not have had their details released."
The new strategy has been welcomed by some, with an emphasis on the need for transparency. Adam Steventon, Director of Data Analytics at the Health Foundation, said: "Health data has played a critical role in the last year – from tracking COVID-19 outbreaks and developing treatments, to getting people booked in for their vaccines. It is critical that the use of data is accelerated if the NHS is to tackle the backlog of care and address the massive health challenges facing the country.
"It is particularly positive that the government has committed to building analytical and data science capability in the NHS and to improving data on social care. To ensure the full potential of data can be realised, the government must ensure transparency on how it will be used and the rights and options people have, as well as engaging with the public and health care professionals to build trust and show people how their data can improve the NHS and save lives."