Posts from February 2019

Real world evidence provides significant insight into how a drug or drug class performs or is used in real world medical settings. Real world evidence (RWE) and real world data (RWD) can inform all phases of pharmaceutical drug development, commercialization, and drug use in healthcare settings.

The ability to quickly transform real world data sources (e.g. EHRs, or patient-reported outcome data from forums, social media) into evidence can improve health outcomes for patients by helping pharmaceutical companies be more efficient in drug development and smarter in commercialization.

Voice of the customer call feeds: a valuable source of real world data 

One source of patient reported outcomes available to pharma companies are the feeds that come into the 1-800 call centers – calls from patients, carers, healthcare professionals or pharmacists, asking questions covering many different issues, such as:


Learning more about drugs understanding in the market

How can pharma product managers efficiently learn how their drugs are faring with patients in the market?

Product managers and teams in pharmaceutical companies need to know what patients and healthcare professionals are reporting and asking about their drugs as they are used in the market, in order to discern trends and patterns and respond appropriately. Real world data (RWD) on drug usage and patient behaviours is available in multiple formats from myriad sources, but mining these disparate structured and unstructured sources with traditional manual search and curation is time-consuming and inefficient.

Novo Nordisk wanted to accelerate, automate and scale this process to provide enhanced access to the extracted information for superior and actionable insights.

Natural Language Processing-based Text Mining at Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk was already using the Linguamatics NLP platform in-house on multiple individual text mining projects with good success (e.g. reducing a publication gap analysis from three-to-four people for six weeks to a few hours). They wanted to capitalise on this success for real world data about their diabetes therapeutic products, from medical affairs team, healthcare professionals, and patients.


Linguamatics NLP platform supports medical research and patient care delivery

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is used to transform text and unstructured data into valuable real-life, outcomes. Generally in Healthcare this application is still in a relatively early stage of adoption. However, some organizations are moving forward towards full success in using NLP to deliver enhanced healthcare research and clinical processes.

Walter Niemczura, the director of application development at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, is one of the individuals driving the ongoing initiative to improve healthcare research. Niemczura began working with Linguamatics seven years ago, in order to identify patients with certain characteristics that were well represented in unstructured clinical notes from Electronic Health Records (EHRs). Niemczura realized that the discrete data they had been working with wasn’t going to be enough to really advance and support research and patient care efforts.

"Linguamatics NLP was a huge time-saver. When you’re looking at hundreds of thousands or millions of patient records, the value might be not the ones you have to look at, but the ones you don’t have to look at." Walter Niemczura, director of application development, Drexel University College of Medicine


Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah is a nationally recognized cancer center that relies heavily on data for its research studies. Because a vast amount of critical patient information is stored in unstructured formats such as clinical notes and pathology reports, finding specific data is often challenging, to say the least—not to mention costly and time consuming.

For years, HCI had compiled information manually or with rudimentary natural language processing (NLP) tools, but surely there was a better way?

After encountering Linguamatics at an informatics conference and learning more about its NLP tools and Linguamatics text mining solution, the HCI research informatics team realized that this is what it had been searching for. To test the system, HCI used Linguamatics NLP platform in a project on breast cancer; it found that data capture was much, much faster, and using NLP improved access to higher quality data.

Since that initial success, HCI has expanded its use of the platform and developed NLP tools for multiple other conditions. It can now provide investigators with the quality data they need when applying for grants, writing papers, or identifying cohorts for specific studies. HCI has also been able to share data and collaborate with other institutions, to advance research and enhance disease understanding, and ultimately achieve better patient outcomes.

“Linguamatics NLP platform is the driver for collecting high quality data and making the process more efficient.” Samir Courdy, Director of Research Informatics Shared Resource
and Chief Research Information Officer, HCI