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Designing the Gold Standard of Decentralized Clinical Trials

Evidation Health and Omada Health, two of Rock Health’s portfolio companies, are trailblazers in their respective domains in digital health. Both have heritage as evidence-driven and evidence-generation platforms, and together they’re designing the gold standard of decentralized clinical trials.”

That’s straight from our friends at Rock Health, who recently invited us (alongside our partners Evidation Health) to chat about the public health landscape in the midst of Covid-19 and how digital care companies can leverage data to bring value to patients with chronic conditions. 

Our own Senior Director of Clinical Research & Policy, Dr. Cynthia Castro Sweet, sat down with Rock Health CEO & Managing Director Bill Evans and Dr. Jessie Juusola of Evidation Health to broach the most pressing subject in healthcare today—how can care providers use clinical data and research to respond to healthcare roadblocks at scale? And can it provide real value?

Check out the full length podcast here, with a topic-by-topic breakdown and quotes below:


Time stamps
  • [1:30] - Introductions, including how Omada’s research team delivers clinical and economic value to our customers.
  • [3:10] - Omada’s general perspective on clinical research for diabetes prevention and management, hypertension, and more, including how research and evidence generation is woven within the fabric of the Omada mission.
  • [6:10] - About Omada’s partnership with Evidation Health, including Evidation’s aptitude for “new research” (i.e. how research can lead to better insights and dynamic information for the populations Omada serves).
  • [11:10] - How digital care solutions like Omada are evolving to use data more effectively and how the market is lined up to have more data streams available. 
  • [13:40] - How our deep investment in clinical trials and studies have helped us optimize the Omada program and constantly refine the product.
  • [18:00] - How can customers see through “evidence” that may be cherry-picked, or evidence that’s led by sales and marketing teams rather than clinical teams? 
  • [20:30] - The tell-tale signs of illegitimate evidence, whether or not a provider delivers care digitally.
  • [22:45] - The investor perspective on the value of clinical evidence for digital care.
  • [23:30] - Decentralized trials vs. virtual clinical trials: what’s the difference?
  • [25:20] - How to become more decentralized (and conduct decentralized trials), particularly in the midst of Covid-19.
  • [26:30] - Addressing skepticism and concerns within the life science industry.
  • [31:50] - A crystal ball read on the healthcare industry, especially as it relates to digital care, chronic care, and methods for quantifying health outcomes and behavior change.
Top ten takeaways
  • [4:05] - “We’re not creating new treatments. We’re taking what’s already evidence-based and using technology to enable better reach and access for [Omada’s] programs.” –Dr. CCS
  • [5:00] - “We’re never just treating someone with diabetes, we’re never just treating someone with hypertension—people are a lot more complex than that.” –Dr. CCS
  • [8:10] - “At Evidation, we look to work with companies that fit the vision [of giving people control of their own lives and empowering them to build healthier habits], and Omada fits the bill.” –Dr. JJ
  • [15:25] - “Having evidence about how your programs work should be an essential part of the conversation to talk with customers. It’s sort of the wild west out there—some companies have it, some don’t. We want to apply rigorous scientific principles to prove that our programs work.” –Dr. CCS 
  • [15:45] - “We’re not here for the easy wins. We really want to change and influence the shape of healthcare for the future. And that requires good, clean, rigorous evidence.” –Dr. CCS
  • [31:05] - “I think we’re in a transition point—it’s a matter of educating ourselves and our peers about alternative but equal options [in terms of how we were trained to conduct trials traditionally].” –Dr. CCS
  • [32:40] - “We can use data to have everyday views of someone’s disease burden. We can use data to know when and how to intervene. Being thrust into this situation [during Covid-19] will hopefully bring us to a point where we are truly understanding real-world experience with novel data streams.” –Dr. JJ
  • [34:05] - “I think we’ll move to a world where we have more faith and trust in remote ways of helping people with their chronic conditions but also monitoring how they’re doing. We can do both, and both have great validity and reliability.” –Dr. CCS
  • [34:20] - “The way we see it at Omada, we’re helping people with their chronic conditions, and each person’s care team has a lot of say in terms of helping them get their health in better shape; but their care team can’t go home with them. That’s what we can do. We can wrap our arms around them and help people figure out how to put the pieces together remotely. We can be much more dynamic by helping people make those small, everyday health adjustments to get them on a better path.” –Dr. CCS
  • [36:00] - “We should keep things moving toward better insights, and a more timely and accurate understanding of how people are taking care of their health every day.” –Dr. CCS