Of exceptional importance – connecting patients to research

For quite some time, I’ve been very interested in the disconnect between the research being undertaken and the questions that people (especially patients and doctors) need answered. There is a huge disconnect between the two.

The NEJM has published a short piece on a very well-funded institute, The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), which will use about $500 million each year to provide the evidence that is most important to patients. Their basic aim is to help people make informed healthcare decisions. Even more interesting to me is that the institute plans to “deploy the full arsenal”, which includes not only clinical trials, but also analysis of registries and other databases, as well as data syntheses (read: meta-analysis and review).

A lot can be done with $500 million, to improve some of the major causes of morbidity in the US, which will then have a direct impact on the rest of the world. Let’s hope the opportunity isn’t squandered.

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