Launch of the Evidence Lab – a united effort to bring improved digital health solutions to patients

Nov 03, 2021
Close up on hands manipulating a device
  • Novartis Biome launches ‘Evidence Lab’, designed to help shape the future of digital solutions within healthcare, working directly with healthcare systems.

  • The Evidence Lab enables health tech innovators to systematically test and validate a proof of concept of a digital health solution with real-world test partners in a healthcare setting, prior to full-scale implementation.

  • This initiative underpins the Novartis commitment to leverage data and digital to fast-track transformative digital health solutions and expand patients’ access to our treatments.

Guided by our purpose to unite the best of science and technology, the Novartis Biome is committed to creating better healthcare solutions and seamless experiences for patients and caregivers.

With the launch of the Evidence Lab, the Novartis Biome takes an important step to further develop and crucially scale digital health solutions. The new collaboration platform aims to boost health tech innovators’ capabilities to test and validate digital health solutions by working directly with healthcare systems.

“The newly created Evidence Lab is a critical piece to help close gaps in care and ensure that digital inventions solve high-impact problems for patients. As we continue our digital transformation, collaborations like this will further help our efforts to become the number one partner in the tech ecosystem and deliver on our purpose to reimagine medicine to improve and extend people’s lives,” said Robert Weltevreden, Head of Customer & Technology Solutions, Novartis.

Responding to healthcare challenges

While COVID-19 accelerated digital healthcare, there remains a strong need to ensure the patient voice is incorporated into the development of digital health solutions, and that solutions are valuable for both patients and healthcare professionals (HCPs).1 Conversely, health tech innovators face limitations to performing timely, cost-effective and robust evaluation from inception, therefore hindering wider adoption of potential high-impact innovations.2

Acting as a bridge between the deep scientific knowledge of Novartis and the know-how of the tech ecosystem, the Evidence Lab sets out to push for the development of digital health solutions that deliver the most benefits for both patients and HCPs.

By using a systematic approach to coordinate and build an evidence base, in areas such as usability, performance, among others, the Evidence Lab equips health tech innovators with the critical insights needed to demonstrate the value and impact of a new or existing digital health solution, early in the development process.

“As the Novartis Biome continues taking on some of the biggest healthcare challenges, the Evidence Lab will help us to interrogate assumptions and truly put the patient at the center of this process. The evidence stemming from this evaluation will empower data-driven decisions on whether to proceed at scale, adapt it, or pivot to an alternative solution, while ensuring patients and HCPs get the most from available digital health solutions,” said Jacob LaPorte, Global Head, the Novartis Biome.

The Evidence Lab is already collaborating with 12 different test partners, including Health Innovation Network, University of California San Francisco, Trial Spark, Banner Health and Southern California Center for Inclusion and Diversity, to ensure a variety of expertise and experience in different therapy areas.

Dr. Rishi Das-Gupta (now Chief Executive of the Health Innovation Network, but formerly Chief Innovation & Technology Officer at Royal Brompton Hospital) was instrumental in onboarding the Royal Brompton to be part of the Evidence Lab testing network. He said:

“One of the ways in which we can improve healthcare, patient experience and outcomes is by the widespread adoption of digital technologies to support care through virtual networks linking healthcare professionals and patients. The Novartis Evidence Lab gives us and external partners the means to test and validate possible digital options, so that we can make evidence-led decisions on what might work best for patients and healthcare providers.”

Dr. Gilanthony D. Ungab MD, Director of the Southern California Center for Inclusion and Diversity (SCIAD), said:

“We’ve always looked at digital health solutions to close gaps in care for problems that need to be solved in our community. This partnership with Novartis Biome expands our reach and the ability to bring in new technologies that improve patients’ lives. We’re grateful that Novartis has included a community like ours and a research group like SCIAD into their Evidence Lab.”

The Novartis Biome will facilitate the sharing of learnings and best practices across the network of partners to reduce duplicative testing and promote faster scaling of solutions that are showing promise in related healthcare settings. The aim is to create a learning network where each of the members collectively works together to accelerate innovation in healthcare.

Find out more about the Evidence Lab


References:

  1. EPIS explores how COVID-19 is shaping the future of digital engagement within healthcare [website] https://www.novartis.com/news/epis-explores-how-covid-19-shaping-future-digital-engagement-within-healthcare (accessed 4 November 2021)
  2. Guo, C., Ashrafian, H., Ghafur, S. et al. Challenges for the evaluation of digital health solutions—A call for innovative evidence generation approaches. npj Digit. Med. 3, 110 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41746-020-00314-2