Case studies

Improving diabetes treatment with Merck

Using analytics to increase the understanding of diabetes and improve treatment

Diabetes represents a large and growing health challenge. Across the UK, 6.2 per cent of the population have diabetes. In Birmingham the figure rises to 9.3 per cent – the highest in the country.

The human cost of diabetes is high, with at least 24,000 deaths a year among sufferers, and treatment costs the NHS over £10 billion each year.

Monitor Deloitte has partnered with Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) and Merck Sharp & Dohme to deliver Insights for Care, an initiative using advanced analytics to improve patient outcomes in areas across Birmingham.

The partnership aims to link social, healthcare, economic and clinical outcome data, capturing the effectiveness of key treatments such as dialysis, high-cost cancer drugs, specialist secondary and community diabetes services, as well as monitoring patient ethnicity information. By using this to map patients’ clinical journeys across different healthcare bodies over time, a far richer picture of healthcare can be built than would be possible through conventional clinical trials.

By analysing this data, we hope to improve researchers’ understanding of the disease, and identify opportunities to build better clinical pathways - ultimately improving patient outcomes.

We expect the benefits to extend beyond improved outcomes for primary diabetes treatment. Initial data has demonstrated that 16 per cent of patients suffer from conditions that may be related to their diabetes, including poor vision and chronic kidney disease. These conditions are driving disproportionate healthcare costs, as well as causing these patients to have the highest chances of premature death. The risk of developing many of these complications was found to be highest among black, Asian and minority ethnic groups. Over time, the partnership hopes to develop new services and interventions that address such health inequalities and aim to lower the risk of patients developing complications.

We presented our initial findings at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research 2016 annual conference. As the partnership with HEFT and Merck Sharp & Dohme evolves, we’ll publish all our insights, ensuring the benefits of the work can support patients beyond the Birmingham region.

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