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Leveraging Real-World Data to Improve Medication Adherence

A Short-Term Scientific Mission experience Hungary - France

Dalma Erdősi, PhD Candidate at Center for Health Technology Assessment, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary and Research Fellow at Center for Health Technology Assessment and Pharmacoeconomic Research, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary.

Medication adherence is a critical factor in managing chronic illnesses effectively, yet many patients struggle to follow their prescribed medication regimens. As a PhD student from Hungary specializing in health sciences, I have dedicated my research to find innovative solutions using real-world data to improve medication adherence. In 2022, I had the opportunity to participate in a short-term scientific mission (STSM) at Université Claude Bernard, Lyon 1, in France, which provided me with valuable insights into advanced research methodologies and technological solutions in this field.


A promising technology: Health Data Analysis of National Health Databases

During my month-long stay in Lyon, I collaborated with Marie Viprey, an epidemiologist and public health professional, and her colleagues at the RESHAPE laboratory. The university is renowned for its expertise in data science and health services research. Our aim was for me to get to know a different country’s national health database, specifically leveraging real-world data from the National Health Data System (SNDS – Système National des Données de Santé), to understand its structure and potential for improving medication adherence.

The National Health Database contains comprehensive health records that can be analyzed to identify patterns and trends in medication adherence. By utilizing this data, researchers can gain a deeper understanding of how patients manage their medications and what factors influence their adherence. This approach aims to support patients by identifying and addressing barriers to adherence, ultimately improving their health outcomes.

My Experience with Real-World Data and the National Health Database

My time at Université Claude Bernard was both enlightening and transformative. The RESHAPE laboratory’s research provided a deep dive into the practical applications of real-world data in healthcare. Although I was able to gather extensive information about the French National Health Database and its potential applications, my limited time in Lyon meant that I could only learn about its functionalities in theory. I did not have direct access to the database, which limited my hands-on experience with the data.

Strengths of Health Data Analysis

Several strengths emerged from my experience with health data analysis:

Comprehensive Data Utilization: The ability to analyze real-world data allows for a nuanced understanding of patient behaviors and adherence patterns.

Personalized Interventions: The insights gained from data analysis enable healthcare providers to offer personalized support and interventions tailored to individual patient needs.

Improved Outcomes: By identifying and addressing adherence issues promptly, these tools help improve overall health outcomes and patient satisfaction.

The combination of data analytics and health services research proved to be a powerful approach, aligning well with the research methodologies I observed at RESHAPE laboratory, Université Claude Bernard.

Limitations and Areas for Improvement

Despite their potential, these tools also have limitations:

Data Privacy Concerns: Handling large amounts of patient data requires stringent data privacy and security measures to protect patient information.

Accessibility: Ensuring that all patients can benefit from these tools is a significant challenge.

My experience in Lyon underscored the importance of addressing these limitations to maximize the effectiveness of adherence tools.

Barriers and Facilitators

Implementing these advanced adherence tools in a healthcare setting involves several barriers and facilitators:

Barriers: My limited time in Lyon meant I could only learn about the French National Health Database in theory, and I did not have direct access to the data. Additionally, data privacy concerns and the complexity of integration are notable challenges.

Facilitators: The clear benefits of improved adherence, support from healthcare professionals, and the availability of comprehensive data can facilitate the adoption of these tools.

Take-Home Messages

Harness the Power of Data: Leveraging real-world data can provide valuable insights and drive better adherence strategies.

Personalize Interventions: Tailoring support and interventions to individual patient needs enhances their effectiveness.

Collaborate and Learn: Cross-cultural collaboration and learning from international best practices can offer innovative solutions to common healthcare challenges.

My time in Lyon was not only enriching from a professional standpoint but also offered a broader perspective on the importance of data-driven approaches in healthcare. By integrating these insights and technologies, we can significantly improve medication adherence and patient health outcomes.

“My Health Everyday” medication adherence coaching application is another project I have been involved in, independent of my STSM in Lyon. ENABLE gave us the opportunity to start a joint project with researchers we met in the COST Action network and win another EU grant, Gatekeeper, to adapt the “My Health Everyday” app, originally developed in Poland, for Hungarian users. It will evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the app compared to usual care for adults with hypertension from the perspective of the Hungarian healthcare payer.