New patient-powered evidence tool is expected to measure productivity, demonstrate effective medicines
Toronto, September 25, 2020 – Reformulary Group, a Canadian healthcare company, has announced its latest health innovation – a Productivity tool – in partnership with the University of Cambridge, U.K. The tool is a practical survey aimed at the general population and will initially be used by Reformulary Group to measure the impact of medicines on individuals’ daily lives, including duties such as work, childcare, studying, etc.
Developed with the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre, the tool assesses several different aspects of productivity, such as mood, stamina, performance and pain management. Patients self-report their outcomes by answering a series of questions designed by healthcare and psychometric experts and informed by best practice in psychological assessment.
With a pilot data collection program set to launch shortly for the purpose of calibrating draft questions, the tool is expected to enable patients to contribute to a substantial and data-driven research base on the effectiveness of medicine. Anonymous data collected during the pilot program will be analyzed using item-response theory techniques to reduce the length of the questionnaire, establish its psychometric properties and inform the creation of feedback reports.
“The tool is a major step forward in better understanding the impact of medicines on a person’s ability to perform day-to-day functions,” said Helen Stevenson, CEO of Reformulary Group. “Patients can become “citizen scientists” by tracking their condition and regularly contributing to a valuable collection of patient-powered evidence. In turn, we start to get a clearer picture about the role of drugs and medical cannabis on real-world experiences.”
Productivity in the workplace and beyond
There is a great demand for a valid measurement of productivity as it relates to prescription drugs, including medical cannabis and high-cost specialty drugs, to provide reliable data in place of assumptions or anecdotal evidence. Reformulary’s new tool will scientifically measure individual productivity, helping users to track changes over time and see their results in comparison with a relevant norm group.
In addition, the productivity tool could be used in the area of disability management, helping individuals understand how treatment is impacting their ability to fulfill daily responsibilities.
“Productivity is a complex and fascinating trait, whose measurement has long been of interest to psychologists, clinicians and economists alike” said Vesselin Popov, Executive Director, University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre. “We are excited to be creating a new multi-dimensional assessment of productivity, that will be both suitable for use in the general population and customized to the needs of those taking prescription medicines. With this tool, we hope to enable greater scientific insight into a range of psychological and behavioural factors, enhancing patients’ self-insight while helping to inform the kind of decisions that can impact an entire workforce.”
The medical cannabis space
With a large number of Canadians using medical cannabis – some for symptoms that have little clinically-backed evidence, patients have a unique role to play in tracking and contributing their own experiences to the base of evidence. There is a need to build real-world evidence generated by patients and using standardized, clinically relevant tools, to the growing body of research on the effectiveness of its use. Evidence in this area helps assess individual outcomes and supports decision-making around health policy, as well as insurance/employer coverage and access to treatment.
“Tracking data on disciplines such as well-being, work-readiness and passion will add substantial, standardized evidence to the body of cannabinoid research,” said Dr Alan Bell, a family physician, clinical researcher and professor at the University of Toronto. “The productivity tool will help inform physician decision-making as well as encourage patients to be advocates of their own health.”
Reformulary Group’s productivity tool will launch later this fall and will initially be hosted under the Cannabis Standard platform. It will also be deployed to Reformulary clients, including employers and plan administrators, and used as a valid measurement of productivity to assess the impact of prescription drugs, including specialty drugs as well as potentially disability management programs.
Reformulary Group is recruiting up to 1,000 Canadian volunteers to participate in a secure pilot to test the tool. Information about participation will be posted when it becomes available.
About the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre
The Psychometrics Centre is a multi-disciplinary institute at the University of Cambridge dedicated to research, teaching and product development in both pure and applied psychological assessment. Established in 1989, its team has developed many cutting-edge assessment tools and software for a range of occupational, educational and clinical applications. These include standardizations of some of the most well-known psychometric tests in the world, such as the Ravens’ Matrices and Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal. Active in Cambridge since 2005, the Centre aims to train the next generation of psychometricians and quantitative social scientists and has an extensive academic publication record in the field of human behaviour.
About Reformulary Group
Founded in 2011, Reformulary Group is an expert-led healthcare company focused on helping Canadians and companies make sense of medicine. The company’s proprietary drug list, the Reformulary®, and award-winning DrugFinder™ provide Canadians with valuable comparative drug information, reviewed and vetted by an independent committee of doctors and pharmacists from across Canada. Reformulary Group built Cannabis Standard™, a discovery tool to guide medical cannabis use. Cannabis Standard also enables patients to track the impact of medical cannabis on their quality of life using a survey tool recognized by doctors and medical professionals around the world. For more information visit www.reformulary.com.Reformulary Group announces pilot of productivity tool for cannabis and other medicines