Johnson & Johnson taps Mercy for real-world medical device data

The agreement comes nine months after Mercy entered into a similar arrangement with Medtronic. (Johnson & Johnson)

Johnson & Johnson has teamed up with U.S. healthcare system Mercy to access real-world data on medical devices. J&J will use the data to assess the health outcomes achieved by medical devices and to inform its regulatory decision-making. 

The research collaboration will make use of a real-world data platform developed by Mercy, which runs 23 hospitals and hundreds of clinics across Ohio and Kentucky. These sites administer medical devices and, in doing so, create opportunities to learn how they work in the real world. 

Mercy laid the groundwork for the J&J partnership more than a decade ago when it moved its health records over to Epic’s electronic system. Since then, Mercy has built out its IT infrastructure, bringing it to the point at which it has millions of data points in longitudinal patient records and natural-language processing tools to glean insights from free-text notes.

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The medical device component of the IT build-out began as a way for Mercy to evaluate how these products work in its patients. But the resulting infrastructure and data have also proven attractive to device manufacturers, which lack the means to generate real-world data on their own products.

“Not only does Mercy have diverse data, we have the data platform, quality, scale and sophisticated data scientists to turn this data into meaningful information. That's critical where patient outcomes are concerned,” Joseph Drozda, M.D., Mercy's director of outcomes research, said in a statement.

Mercy’s agreement with J&J comes nine months after the healthcare provider entered into a similar arrangement with Medtronic. The earlier agreement saw Medtronic sign up to capture deidentified data from about 80,000 heart failure patients. Such data could provide insights into the factors that dictate how a patient will respond to cardiac resynchronization therapy.

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The partners will study patient-focused endpoints alongside so-called “hard outcomes" that have traditionally served as endpoints in clinical trials.