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The Power of Collaboration in Addressing Health Inequalities 

The Power of Collaboration in Addressing Health Inequalities

Vice President, Strategic Planning Northern Europe at global human data science company, IQVIA presents on the insights from the recent Innovation to Reduce Health Inequalities Seminar. 

IQVIA is the third largest life sciences employer in the UK, we attract an equivalent of £2.2 billion of economic impact to the UK. Combining our research, real world and genomics expertise and diagnostics laboratory in Scotland, we played a critical role in contributing to the O’Shaughnessy Review and look forward to becoming a Review Implementation Partner.  

Delegates attending Chamber’s Integrating Healthcare Seminar participated in a thought-provoking presentation by Vice President, Strategic Planning Northern Europe at IQVIA, Angela McFarlane on the importance of collaboration and data science in tackling health inequalities. Angela’s presentation shed light on how IQVIA, leverages real-world evidence to address health disparities and ensure better healthcare outcomes for all.   

Some of the key points discussed in Angela’s presentation are highlighted in this review and re-examines the remarkable case studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of collaboration in improving healthcare access and equity. 

The Role of Human Data Science 

McFarlane emphasised that human data science is the foundation of IQVIA’s work. As a global leader in clinical trials and data analysis, IQVIA relies on human data science to conduct critical research and provide valuable insights. This approach allows them to gather and analyse vast amounts of data, including real-world evidence and genomic data, to understand health trends and develop effective solutions. 

“Desmond Tutu said, ‘We have to stop pulling people out of the river and go upstream to find out what’s making them fall in in the first place.’ This quote encapsulates the essence of our approach, where collaboration and data science help us understand and address the root causes of health inequalities, ensuring that everyone receives the care they deserve.”

Angela McFarlane, Vice President, Strategic Planning, Northern Europe, IQVIA 

Tackling Health Inequalities through Collaboration 

McFarlane highlighted the significance of collaboration in addressing health inequalities – the subject at the heart of their Innovation to Innovating to Address Health Inequalities Summit. One of the key aspects discussed was the use of real-world evidence in the United Kingdom, where the country’s longitudinal health records have made it a global leader in this field. By using this data, IQVIA can identify and analyse patterns of health inequalities at the Integrated Care System (ICS) level. 

You can watch the full video here.

IQVIA’s ‘Innovating to Address Health Inequalities Summit’ was co-created by IQVIA, Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), and leaders in the Life Sciences sector unified together with a singular mission to combat health and care inequalities impacting numerous UK citizens. 

The Summit enabled its participants to share best practice, problem-solve with the sense of having created not only new partnerships but new innovations to take back to their communities and mobilise through joint working on health inequalities.

Find out more about our mission here: 

https://www.iqvia.com/locations/united-kingdom/blogs/2023/07/innovating-to-address-health-inequalities-iqvia-summit-one-mission-of-collaboration

Case Study 1: Uptake of Nice Approved Technologies 

McFarlane shared a case study that focused on the uptake of technologies approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The study revealed that it takes an average of four years and two months for NICE-approved technologies to reach their intended populations at the local level. Furthermore, disparities in uptake were identified, with ICS areas with higher deprivation experiencing lower adoption rates. This case study highlighted the need for further investigation into the reasons behind these variations and the importance of bridging the access gap for innovative treatments. 

Case Study 2: Improving Breast Cancer Care 

Another compelling case study explored breast cancer care in Greater Manchester. Here, McFarlane and her team identified that women from more deprived communities in Bolton, Stockport, and Bury were not receiving optimal treatment at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, a renowned cancer centre. Upon deeper investigation, it was discovered that patient travel time was a significant barrier to accessing care. Consequently, the breast cancer care pathway was redesigned, and Christie care was extended to local centres, ensuring better access to treatment for these patients (page 57). 

Case Study 3: Addressing Inequities in Lung Cancer 

McFarlane’s presentation delved into lung cancer, an area with substantial inequities. By combining data from the National Lung Cancer Audit and cancer weight times, a pathway scoring index was developed to evaluate and benchmark the performance of different centres. This allowed for targeted interventions and improvements in regions with disparities, leading to enhanced healthcare outcomes for patients with lung cancer. 

Final Thought 

McFarlane’s presentation at the Integrating Healthcare Seminar showcased the power of collaboration and data science in tackling health inequalities. IQVIA’s use of real-world evidence and their dedication to working with healthcare providers and authorities has enabled groundbreaking discoveries and innovative solutions to address disparities in healthcare access. As the world moves towards a more equitable healthcare system, IQVIA’s work serves as an inspiration to prioritise collaboration, harness data science, and strive for a healthier and fairer society. 

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