As research and life science organizations around the world continue to devote tremendous energy and funds to drug development, more efficient processes and cost-effective technology can expedite clinical trials and deliver therapies to patients faster.
The University of Southern California (USC) Keck School of Medicine, along with the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute (SC CTSI), embarked on a digitization journey to modernize its Medicare Coverage Analysis (MCA) processes managed in the Clinical Trials Office. MCA processes are a critical component of clinical trial administration as they dictate whether Medicare will cover the medical trial.
“We work with teams on promising clinical trials to remove roadblocks from researchers at USC and across the U.S.,” says Allison Orechwa, Ph.D., Director of Programmatic Development and Interim Program Director for Healthcare Delivery Science at CS CTSI. “We need to be as efficient as possible in our approach to empower the organizations we support — taking a more advanced approach to analytics stood out as one of the best ways to accomplish this.”
Pluto7, the 2019 Google Cloud Specialization Partner of the Year for Data and Analytics, helped the school with this transformation. The team began by surveying USC researchers to identify the challenges they faced and find opportunities to streamline their processes.
A highly skilled research administrator has to understand each study procedure to determine how the school will be reimbursed for the trial. This manual procedure is a major bottleneck to swiftly launching new clinical trials that can evaluate new therapies.
To streamline this process, Pluto7 built an algorithm to read standard of care guidelines, match a given procedure with those guidelines, and assign it to the correct billing category in milliseconds. Google Cloud solutions including Document AI and Vision AI further accelerated the analysis.
After successfully completing a proof of concept to streamline the billing processes, the school was able to significantly shorten the budgeting process for breast cancer studies.
Now, the school is looking into a range of other projects to accelerate clinical trials across other diseases. The more that time can be reduced, the faster critical results will be available within USC and the broader research community around the globe.
“This is about saving lives,” says Allison. “Getting new drugs developed and to market can greatly improve patient outcomes, so the faster we are, the better the impact on healthcare providers and their patients. With Pluto7’s help and Google Cloud solutions, we have a foundation for accelerating clinical trials and in the end, supporting better patient outcomes.”
Read the full case study to learn more about how USC partnered with Google Cloud and Pluto7 on this project.
By Joe Corkery, MD Director of Product, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Google Cloud