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Get real: an introduction to real-world evidence

1st October 2021

The value attached to real-world evidence (RWE) in clinical decision making has increased significantly over recent years. Using examples taken from diabetes treatment, our latest module – launching today – looks at what RWE is, why it is important and who can benefit from it.

Over several years Dr Marc Evans (University Hospital of Llandough, Cardiff, Wales) has developed a deep interest in the analysis of RWE and generation of real-world data. He is particularly interested in how these data may be used to support health economic evaluations and has contributed to a variety of health technology appraisals using such approaches. Who better, then, to explain the educational benefits of understanding the intricacies and relevance of real-world data, as it translates to our daily practice and our management of people with diabetes?

The resulting module outlines recent developments in the role attributed to RWE by research institutions around the world, focusing in particular on the value of RWE as compared to evidence from randomised controlled trials (RCTs). After surveying considerations for the design of RWE studies, including the critical design elements required to minimise bias and confounding, the module concludes with some examples of RWE, exploring how these might be applied to clinical practice in the care of people with diabetes. This module is particularly rich in scenario-based examples – both in its numerous case studies and in the end-of-module assessments.

So where does Dr Evans see the role of RWE in diabetes care going forward?

“I think there is undoubtedly an appreciation of the growing awareness and importance of the use of RWE. RWE undoubtedly has a relevance to all stakeholders, I would suggest, within healthcare. There is unquestionably a need for standardisation of our approaches to both real-world capture and study design. And I have no doubt that RWE will increasingly inform healthcare decision-making on many levels. And, as such, our understanding of RWE, its utility, the way it’s conducted, data capture and its role represents an educational imperative. And I do hope that this module has gone a long way to meet the educational challenges that we face around RWE.”

Click here to enrol on Dr Evans’ module ‘An introduction to real-world evidence’.

This module’s launch will be marked by a live presentation and Q&A with Dr Marc Evans at the EASD’s Annual Meeting today (14.00-15.30 CET).