Quintiles signs an expansive deal to chart effects of physical therapy

Quintiles CEO Tom Pike

Quintiles ($Q), the world's largest CRO, is lending its Big Data heft to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), agreeing to help create a registry of patient outcomes data to inform future treatment.

Without disclosing financial details, the two say they plan to use a "hub-and-spoke" model of registry creation, drawing in data from a wide range of sources and depositing it in a centralized place, hosted by Quintiles. Those spokes will tap electronic health records, billing data, private practices, APTA and other sources, cobbling together what would be the largest and most comprehensive physical therapy electronic registry to date.

Quintiles plans to begin recruiting users for a pilot version of the registry in the third quarter of this year, planning a full launch in early 2015.

"Patient registries are an increasingly vital component of real-world, comprehensive evidence development for identifying the causes of disease and, in this case, injuries, and designing effective treatments," Quintiles Late-Phase Research President Cynthia Verst said in a statement. "Working together with APTA and leveraging our expertise in designing and implementing registries, our goal is to build a new registry that will provide clinicians and practices with benchmark data to improve healthcare delivery and achieve better patient outcomes."

Quintiles capabilities in post-marketing study helped it secure a similar arrangement with the Muscular Dystrophy Association last year. Under that deal, the CRO is lending its research and analytics expertise to create a network that will allow researchers to study the natural history of muscular dystrophy and related diseases, examine practice patterns and inform care guidelines.

The agreements are a change of pace from the company's more common work with drug developers, but the CRO has plenty of experience gathering real-world patient data through Quintiles Outcome, its late-phase division.

- read the statement