5 startups to watch revolutionizing the healthcare industry through Real-World Evidence
The incorporation of real-world evidence (RWE) has revolutionized the healthcare industry, ushering in a new era of possibilities. With technological advancements and improved accessibility to data collection, RWE has transformed into a priceless asset for healthcare systems, providing a plethora of insights into the efficacy, safety, and value of medical interventions. Notably, during the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, RWE played a pivotal role in empowering biopharmaceutical companies to innovate and uncover novel drugs and vaccines to combat the crisis1.
Concurrently, a surge of startups has emerged, capitalizing on the myriad opportunities available to support the industry in achieving its objectives. As such, this article aims to delve into and illuminate the key trends and recent advancements in the innovation landscape concerning RWE.
What is Real World Evidence?
The 2022 Real World Evidence Benchmarking Study conducted by Deloitte sheds light on the proactive efforts of biopharmaceutical companies to integrate RWE into their daily operations, with the aim of expediting drug development and minimizing costs. An impressive 90% of executives surveyed expressed their organizations’ intentions to utilize RWE for decision-making throughout the entire product lifecycle in the coming years. Furthermore, the study underscores the role of technology in empowering corporations to leverage RWE effectively by providing visibility and transparency into their data. Encouragingly, the data reveals a substantial increase in the adoption of knowledge management systems, with 65% of surveyed companies reporting their implementation in 2022, compared to a mere 35% in the previous year (2021).
The motivation behind companies embracing RWE lies in the array of benefits it offers. For instance, RWE expedites approval processes, as exemplified by the remarkable progress made in developing approving Covid-19 vaccines. Moreover, it significantly reduces drug development costs as it reduces time and provides faster insights. Additionally, RWE facilitates enhanced data diversity in drug development and therefore, strengthens the generalizability of data sets, leading to more comprehensive and robust insights.
Illustration: Relationship between RWE and sources of RWE (=RWE)
What does this imply for the startup and innovation landscape?
Propelled by various driving forces, the RWE market witnessed substantial growth, reaching a valuation of US$ 2.4B in 2022. Projections indicate a promising future with anticipated compound annual growth rate of 8.2% between 2023 and 2030. Remarkably, venture capitalists demonstrated a keen interest in this sector, injecting a significant total of US$1.8B into RWE startups from 2019 to 2021, underscoring the immense significance of this field.
Startups involved in the realm of RWE exhibit diverse business models tailored to their specific objectives. Their approaches range from pure data collection and aggregation to developing solutions for seamless data exchange, as well as crafting software tools designed for personalized patient therapy for all kinds of chronic, rare and common diseases. Despite their distinct focuses, these startups share a common overarching goal: to streamline the development of new treatments and medications while simultaneously enhancing the precision and efficacy of these and pre-existing therapies through the utilization of RWD. This collective aspiration is driven by a dual purpose: to drive down costs of the research and development process and expedite scope of the same, ultimately bringing about significant advancements in healthcare. By leveraging RWE, these innovative startups strive to revolutionize the medical landscape, empowering healthcare providers with data-driven insights that enable more targeted and effective interventions. Let’s have a look at five leading startups propel change through leveraging RWE:
Atropos Health (United States // Series A // $14M): Founded in 2020, Atropos Health is a platform providing RWE for any clinical decision to healthcare organizations, clinicians and researchers. Atropos Health manages to provide healthcare organizations with on-demand insights under 48 hours to close the evidence gap by giving insights on existing medical literature and novel studies.
Traverse.Health (The Netherlands // Pre-Seed): Founded in 2022, TRAVERSE is actively bridging major data gaps in the healthcare industry by establishing connections between clinical trials and routine clinical practice. Their unique approach is rooted in their emphasis on health data diversity. Their objective is to advance healthcare and foster health equity through RWD obtained from underrepresented regions and patient populations.
Oncochain (The Netherlands // $530.8K)): Oncochain, established in 2020, is dedicated to developing a platform that streamlines the collection of RWD with the primary goal of expediting cancer research. The platform serves as a valuable resource for clinics and academic institutions engaged in research, providing them with insightful data, assisting in day-to-day practices, and expanding their research capabilities. Conversely, Oncochain offers Life Science companies convenient access to aggregated longitudinal clinical data, seamlessly integrated with user-friendly and high-performing analytics. This comprehensive solution enables the generation of RWE and empowers researchers with valuable insights.
AllesHealth (Switzerland // Seed): Founded in 2023, AllesHealth is a health insights company that prioritizes patients and caregivers, aiming to create value for them by offering clinical insights for improved care using their own health data. Through a B2B platform, anonymised and de-identifiable RWD with patient consent will be made available to Life Science companies, CROs and Insurance companies to address the lack of insights from RWE especially in rare disease and from low-mid income countries.
Heartbeat Medical (Germany // Series A // €8.8M): Founded in 2014, Heartbeat Medical has created a platform for different stakeholders in the healthcare industry such as life science companies, payers or clinicians that simplifies the collection of patient-reported outcomes and generate ongoing RWE enabling the discovery on how treatments are impacting patients’ quality of life.
Conclusion and Outlook
Looking ahead, the future of RWE and RWD startups appears promising. The demand for RWE to inform healthcare decision-making is increasingly driven by personalized medicine, comparative effectiveness research and value-based healthcare. With advancements in data analytics, technology and regulatory acceptance, RWE startups are expected to play a vital role in generating actionable insights that improve patient outcomes, enhance treatment effectiveness and support evidence-based healthcare practices. Furthermore, RWE has an significant impact on R&D, shortening the development cycles of new pharmaceuticals whilst also playing a vital role in silico trials.
Written by Isabel Humke