By Sfoorti Mishra
Amid the fight against the pandemic, Indegene, a Bengaluru-based global health tech solutions provider, has taken up the responsibility of providing free services to healthcare professionals in India to collate, interpret and publish clinical data on the therapeutic management of COVID-19 patients.
The project, after it tasted success in Wuhan city of China where the coronavirus outbreak was first detected late last year, is aimed at creating India-specific dataset. It may assist policymakers in arriving at informed disease management decisions.
In Wuhan, the company helped doctors with data collation and also deployed medical writers to develop manuscripts for therapy tried on patients.
This will facilitate creation of a comprehensive repository of clinical evidence on COVID-19 and lead to reduced morbidity and mortality.
According to Saurabh Jain, Country Head (China) of Indegene, the current pandemic has caught the world community by storm, prompting the healthcare community to re-purpose the available therapeutic options to treat COVID-19 without clear scientific evidence. “Under these circumstances, time and expertise might be a constraint for doctors to introspect and analyze the clinical data,” he said.
“The initiative leverages our medical writing expertise in generation of clinical evidence from clinical data, systematic appraisal, along with our previous experience in helping Chinese doctors collate, analyze and publish COVID-19 related clinical evidence,” he said.
While leading drug companies, like Roche and J&J, are busy developing COVID-19 drugs and vaccines, data on effectiveness of treatment options being tried out in the interim period is critical. Easy and timely reference to these interventions will act as a bridge between ongoing clinical trials by lifescience companies and real-world evidence, increasing the expanse of treatment options currently being tested.
The company aims to deliver healthcare solutions for current and future challenges using its expertise in analytics, technology, operations and medical expertise. But transmission of virus across the globe among heterogeneous inhabitants is a big challenge to come out with a standardised treatment for the disease, it says.
Stating that many trends have emerged in the form of data, Jain told IANS, “Varying incidence and mortality of COVID-19 in different geographical areas suggest some linkage of disease with genetics and other factors.
“For example, from data received from doctors, we are seeing malaria-free countries have a significantly higher number of Covid-19 cases compared with malaria-endemic countries. Even in our country malaria-prone north-eastern states have a lower incidence than the western part.”
Another interesting aspect about COVID-19 data, he said, was that countries with higher BCG vaccination coverage had significantly less mortality per thousand population compared with those with low BCG coverage. “To prove these linkages, we need more scientifically collected data and people to analyze them. This is where we are helping the medical fraternity,” said Jain.
The company has set up a dedicated COVID-19 task force to help assimilate and publish clinical evidence collected by Indian clinicians, in systematic evidence synthesis and assist in evidence-based clinical decision making. Clinicians can submit their clinical data or manuscripts or requests for data collation through its official website.
(Sfoorti Mishra can be contacted at [email protected])