AstraZeneca sponsors diabetes patient registry

The emergence of electronic health records (EHRs) has made it possible to track patients across the healthcare landscape, linking the various points at which they interact with the system to build a more complete picture of the population's health. To realize this vision for diabetes patients, AstraZeneca ($AZN) has signed up to sponsor a registry that gathers data from primary care physicians and specialists in other fields.

AstraZeneca has joined with medical organizations including the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Diabetes Association to set up the registry. The ACC is providing the underlying technology in the form of its PINNACLE Registry which gathers ambulatory cardiovascular records. As cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among diabetics, the ACC registry contains data researchers could slice and dice to better understand the links between the conditions.

The partners plan to supplement this data with metrics from other providers. The Joslin Diabetes Center is a founding member of the registry, and as an early adopter of EHRs it holds a wealth of diabetes-focused data. In the coming months, the collaborators plan to add more members, increasing the number of sources that feed information into the registry. AstraZeneca thinks this could improve understanding of disease, ultimately leading to better drugs.

In the short term, health improvements could come from better use of existing treatments. "By consolidating patient data, this registry will allow primary care physicians and specialists who treat patients with diabetes to compare data and access real-time metrics on patients in all stages of the disease," ACC President Dr. Patrick O'Gara said in a statement.

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