Enriching Real-World Data for Deeper Insights

Real-world data (RWD) from sources like electronic health records, claims databases, registries and wearables are transforming clinical research and healthcare. However, RWD in its raw form often lacks context or has data quality issues. We, at BC Platforms, believe this is where “enriching” RWD becomes crucial.

What is RWD enrichment? It is the process of augmenting raw RWD with additional data points to make it more meaningful, accurate and multi-dimensional. Some key enrichment techniques include:

  • Linking data sets – Connecting distinct RWD sets, like clinical data with genomics data from the same patients provides a 360-degree view. One study linked molecular data to clinical outcomes data in ovarian cancer patients. [1]
  • Adding clinical context – Incorporating free text clinician notes, pathology reports and radiology images better contextualizes cryptic ICD codes or laboratory values. Startups like Ocular Science are using NLP to extract insights from unstructured clinical notes. [2]
  • Validating data – Cross-checking the accuracy of RWD against the source via methods like chart review. Researchers performed validation on data extracted from hematology-oncology EHRs to fix inaccuracies. [3] 
  • Supplementing with patient-reported outcomes – Integrating PROs collected via surveys and wearables with clinical data captures the patient perspective on outcomes like quality of life. [4]
  • Enhancing with external data – Matching RWD with contextual data like social determinants of health from other sources, provides a holistic view of patients’ environments. [5]

Enrichment helps make RWD more multi-dimensional, meaningful, and actionable. It provides a more holistic view of patients by connecting disparate data sources and adding critical context beyond what is captured in the raw data. Our view is that enriched RWD better informs clinical and research decisions, improves care quality, and ultimately leads to better health outcomes. Thoughtful curation and enrichment helps realize the full value of RWD for advancing healthcare and precision medicine, our mission. From Data to Health.



[1] JCO Precision Oncology, 2022

[2] Medium, 2022 

[3] JAMIA, 2022

[4] Frontiers in Oncology, 2022

[5] Applied Clinical Informatics, 2022