Leveraging Electronic Healthcare Data to Support Clinical Trials using the FDA Sentinel System
CTTI’s work on the Sentinel System—developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in collaboration with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and many of the nation’s largest insurers and health systems—began with Mini-Sentinel. During the Mini-Sentinel pilot project, CTTI partnered with the FDA and the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute to assess the feasibility of using this distributed database to conduct clinical trials. The results indicated that most participating health plans have considerable and relevant experience to use the resources created by the pilot project to conduct randomized trials.
As follow on, CTTI collaborated on the first trial to use the FDA-Catalyst System network of electronic health data from several national health plan data partners. The Implementation of a Multicenter Clustered Randomized Controlled Trial to ImProve Treatment with AntiCoagulanTs in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation (IMPACT-AFib) trial randomizing over 80,000 patients and their providers to test the effectiveness of mailing educational information to AF patients and their providers. The study is foundational to future clinical trials, showing that a decentralized database of claims data can be used to conduct successful research.
The FDA’s Sentinel System, coordinated by the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, brings together many of the nation’s largest insurers and health systems to create a large distributed database with access to primarily claims data. The Sentinel System was developed to complement existing FDA surveillance capabilities that track adverse events reported after the use of FDA regulated products by allowing the FDA to proactively assess the safety of these products. The initial steps to creating the Sentinel System involved a pilot, Mini-Sentinel, to test the feasibility of and develop the scientific approaches needed. With the increasing availability of electronic healthcare data, there are opportunities to leverage the Sentinel Infrastructure for other purposes, including creating efficiencies in clinical trial conduct.
Between October of 2012 and December of 2013, FDA, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and CTTI formed a multi-stakeholder project team to assess the potential for conducting randomized trials in the Mini-Sentinel environment, specifically the capability and willingness of participating Mini-Sentinel data partners to collaborate in randomized trials. This project identified potential opportunities to utilize the database for clinical trial operations, such as protocol development, trial implementation, assessing outcomes, and identifying and enrolling trial participants. Detailed results from the project “Uses of Healthcare Electronic Data to Support Clinical Trials (with Mini-Sentinel)” are described in the findings section below and in the Developing Approaches to Conducting Randomized Trials Using the Mini-Sentinel Distributed Database report and webinar.
Building on the findings of this project, work is now underway to initiate an interventional trial as a proof-of-concept study conducted utilizing the Sentinel Infrastructure as a part of the FDA-Catalyst program. The FDA-Catalyst program seeks to provide FDA the ability to use the Sentinel Infrastructure to access existing data and complement this data with either interactions or interventions with patients or providers to answer questions about medical products performance. This is in contrast to the Sentinel System, which only utilizes the Sentinel Infrastructure to access existing data to inform questions about medical products performance (i.e., observational studies).
IMPACT AFib is a proposed randomized trial to test the effect of education on initiation of anticoagulant use in patients with atrial fibrillation meeting guidelines for stroke prevention who have not received such therapy in the preceding year. In addition, the trial will assess the outcomes associated with the treatment (i.e., rate of stroke-related hospitalizations). This trial was selected for several reasons:
Uses of Electronic Healthcare Data to Support Clinical Trials (with Mini-Sentinel)” (2012-2014)
Preparatory work and support implementing IMPACT-AFib (2015-ongoing)
To demonstrate that the use of the electronic healthcare data, such as that contained within the Sentinel Infrastructure can reduce costs and save time during the conduct of clinical trials.
Findings from the first project defined the characteristics of a trial that would make the Sentinel Infrastructure a favorable platform for facilitating trial implementation. These characteristics include a broad study population, commonly available clinical outcomes, and easily applied interventions, among others. In addition, the project identified that data partners indicated various factors as important to a decision to participate in a trial using the Sentinel Infrastructure, including staff capacity, topic of research, and ethical considerations, among others. As the report describes, data partners were optimistic about using the Sentinel Infrastructure to facilitate patient recruitment and follow-up of participants in randomized clinical trials and have considerable and relevant experience to use the Sentinel Infrastructure to conduct randomized trials.
The report further considered potential use cases that could demonstrate the use of the Sentinel Infrastructure in the conduct of a clinical trial, including the IMPACT-AFib trial. Work is underway to finalize the materials needed to implement this trial. However, initial feasibility assessments of the data within the Sentinel Infrastructure indicate that the data partners have a sufficient number of eligible patients to power a trial to meet the study objectives, namely whether an intervention can increase the proportion of patients started on oral anticoagulation for stroke prevention and reduce the rate of stroke related hospitalizations.
Watch this space for updated findings as the project progresses.
|Project Manager||Crystal Garcia||Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute||IMPACT-AFib|
|Team Member||Cheryl Walraven||Aetna||IMPACT-AFib|
|Team Member||Ryan Saliga||Harvard University||IMPACT-AFib|
|Team Member||Daniel Knecht||Aetna||IMPACT-AFib|
|Team Member||Yunping Zhou||Humana||IMPACT-AFib|
|Team Member||Vinit Nair||Humana||IMPACT-AFib|
|Project Manager||Jennifer Goldsack||Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative||IMPACT-AFib|
|Team Member||Nick Patel||Humana||IMPACT-AFib|
|Team Leader||Christopher Granger||Duke University||IMPACT-AFib|
|Team Member||Robert Temple||Food and Drug Administration||IMPACT-AFib|
|Team Member||Sana Al-Khatib||Duke University||IMPACT-AFib|
|Team Member||Sean Pokorney||Duke University||IMPACT-AFib|
|Executive Committee Champion||Richard Platt||Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute||IMPACT-AFib|
|Team Leader||Melissa Robb||Food and Drug Administration||IMPACT-AFib|
|Team Member||Hussein Al-Khalidi||Duke University||IMPACT-AFib|
|Team Member||Noelle Cocoros||Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute||IMPACT-AFib|
|Team Member||Tom Harkins||Humana||IMPACT-AFib|
|Team Member||Kevin Haynes||HealthCore||IMPACT-AFib|
|Team Member||Daniel Lane||Humana||IMPACT-AFib|
|Team Member||Nancy Lin||Optum||IMPACT-AFib|
|Team Member||Debbe McCall||Patient Representative||IMPACT-AFib|
|Team Member||Emily O'Brien||Duke University||IMPACT-AFib|
|Team Member||Lauren Parlett||HealthCore||IMPACT-AFib|
|Team Leader||Pamela Tenaerts||Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative||Uses of Electronic Healthcare Data|
|Team Member||John Buse||University of North Carolina||Uses of Electronic Healthcare Data|
|Team Member||Scott Connor||Acurian||Uses of Electronic Healthcare Data|
|Team Member||Susan Ellenberg||University of Pennsylvania||Uses of Electronic Healthcare Data|
|Team Member||Kenneth Hornbuckle||Eli Lilly||Uses of Electronic Healthcare Data|
|Team Member||Andreas Koester||Johnson & Johnson||Uses of Electronic Healthcare Data|
|Team Member||Gabriela Lavezzari||PhRMA||Uses of Electronic Healthcare Data|
|Team Member||Elliott Levy||Bristol-Myers Squibb||Uses of Electronic Healthcare Data|
|Team Member||Edward Mannello||AstraZeneca||Uses of Electronic Healthcare Data|
|Team Member||Stephen Mikita||Patient Representative||Uses of Electronic Healthcare Data|
|Team Member||Jane Perlmutter||Patient Representative||Uses of Electronic Healthcare Data|
|Team Member||Stephen Rosenfeld||Quorum IRB||Uses of Electronic Healthcare Data|
|Team Leader||Richard Platt||Harvard University||Uses of Electronic Healthcare Data / IMPACT-AFib|