Analysing Real-World Data (RWD) and utilizing the resulting Real-World Evidence (RWE) in decision making to improve patient care is one of the recent booming trends among healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies. BC Platforms provides a tool, BCRQUEST.COM with the aim to combine this fractioned data into one data-base tackling one of the greatest obstacles of efficient RWD utilization: unharmonized data silos, hidden from each other so well that only a few know their existence and potential.
Electronical healthcare systems and improving IT-solutions have made it possible to collect and utilize large amounts of patient data from the routine care. This data withholds lots of valuable information on patient management in a real-world setting, which might be notably different compared to randomized clinical trials (RCT) or other types of cohort studies. Using this real-world data with modern analytical solutions could help us to better understand factors affecting different diseases and identify high-risk patients or events that lead to adverse events or complications in a real-world setting. Identifying these factors could help us to detect the patients at risk earlier, select the optimal treatment and intervention to change the course and eventually even avoid the complications. Generally, utilizing RWD could improve the healthcare, moving it closer to P4-medicine, especially in fields of personalized and predictive medicine.
Finland offers a unique landscape of RWD sources and possibilities for RWE studies. The six Finnish Hospital Biobanks contain massive collections of biological samples as well as health data collected in routine care, geographically covering the whole population. The Finnish biobank act forms the base for biobank studies and makes it possible to use the medical data around biobanked samples. In addition, Finland has other national and private biobanks, hospital “data lakes”, and multiple comprehensive national registries, all of which can be linked to one another using a unique national identity number. They can also be used in registry studies independent of biobanks, providing a very valuable ecosystem for various types of RWE studies. The data is rich and available, and local studies can be performed relatively fast and efficiently even though the biobank era has just begun (even in the global landscape).
However, to reach the goal of personalized and predictive medicine, advanced analytics is required (such as machine learning and AI solutions), which all are data-hungry and require vast datasets. For these solutions to be generalizable, the data would preferably be from multiple regional sources, also at a global level. Currently achieving this is hard and slow, as all the data is stored in different silos, usually in varying shapes and sizes. Thus, one of the major challenges in big data processing is data harmonization and breaking the boundaries of the silos for the greater good.
BC Platforms is currently making pioneering work on providing a solution to harmonize these silos and creating a path to make clinical data more easily available for research purposes. One of the tools they provide, BCRQUEST.COM, collects the sparse and scattered data from collaborating biobanks and other data-holders globally, harmonizes and collects it to one place allowing harmonized analytics on a global network level. In addition to including Finnish data sources to BCRQUEST, BC Platforms is constantly increasing the number of collaborating biobanks all around the globe.
” It is important to streamline the process between biobanks and external researchers working for example for the pharmaceutical use cases. Time is essential and every lost day means inefficiency and has a significant cost. With our data partners we can make big difference in the actual data quality so that we can speed up every day research work”, explains Tero Silvola CEO for BC Platforms.
To reach the full potential of current real-world data, we need an open attitude towards data sharing and collaboration. BC Platforms is pioneering in this field, pulling together data holders and curious minds ready to utilize the data to improve the patient care, most importantly, in a harmonized manner.
BC Platforms in a nutshell
“BC Platforms is a world leader in providing powerful genomic data management and analysis solutions. Our high performing genomic data management platform enables flexible data integration, secure analysis and interpretation of molecular and clinical information. The company has launched and opened a global network of biobanks, known as BCRQUEST.COM, to provide genomic and clinical cohort data for pharmaceutical and medical research and development. BC Platforms’ vision is to build the world’s leading analytics platform for healthcare and industry by 2020, providing access to diverse genomic and clinical data and samples from more than 5 million subjects consolidated from a global network of biobanks.
Founded in 1997 from an MIT Whitehead project spinoff, the Company has a strong scientific heritage underpinned by 20 years of working in close collaboration with a network of leading researchers, developers, manufacturers and vendors. We currently provide solutions to over 50 leading international institutions in 21 countries including top-tier academic and hospital research groups, major pharmaceutical and agricultural companies. Our management team consists of industry leaders with over 90 years of combined experience in life sciences, computational biology and industrial technology. BC Platforms has global operations with its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, research and development in Helsinki, Finland, and sales and marketing in London, Boston, and Vancouver.