The burden of disease and societal value of healthcare innovation

Increasing the impact of innovation on healthcare through creative policy-thinking

Our work examines the individual and societal burdens of disease and identifies areas for improvement in diverse clinical and geographical areas. We frequently identify areas where innovation can help to reduce these burdens, and recommend next steps for decisionmakers.

Examining the impacts of cancer

To gain a holistic perspective on the value of innovation, RAND Europe has examined the burden of cancer on patients and society. Our projects have considered diverse types of impacts including health, quality-of-life, societal and economic impacts of brain and breast cancers, and identified areas where healthcare systems need to build capacity to better engage with treatment-related decisionmaking.

  • Woman with cancer using a laptop in bed


    Are quality of life assessments used during cancer treatment, and how?

    Although quality-of-life considerations are important for all cancer treatment, they come into particular focus when survival prospects are limited. In a study commissioned by Roche, RAND Europe explored whether, when, how, and what quality-of-life assessment tools are used in cancer treatment and care.

  • Women wearing pink for breast cancer and putting their hands together


    Societal impacts of treating breast cancer early

    Roche asked RAND Europe to explore the evidence base on the broader health, societal and economic impacts from early breast cancer treatment and the wider costs to society of the progression of breast cancer.

Identifying the burden of multiple sclerosis

Research often considers the impact of disease on individual patients and healthcare services, but less so on those providing support such as carers and families. We examined these wider impacts in the context of multiple sclerosis.

  • Orange ribbon raising awareness of leukemia, kidney cancer, multiple sclerosis, photo by Chinnapong/Adobe Stock


    Understanding the societal burden of disease progression in MS

    There is limited evidence on the impact of multiple sclerosis progression on patients, carers, and society as a whole. Our work identified an important gap in how society tackles the management of this disease, presenting a need for treatment and care strategies that consider impacts on patients and wider society—including caregivers.

Managing atrial fibrillation

Managing major chronic diseases is a collective effort. We have worked with clients to better understand how different stakeholders can work together to tackle key population health burdens of our time. One example is our work in the area of atrial fibrillation.

  • Project

    The future of anticoagulation to treat atrial fibrillation

    We worked with leading European healthcare experts and patient groups in a project commissioned by Daiichi Sankyo, to identify actions to improve the outlook for future atrial fibrillation management. Our findings led to recommendations that aim to help reduce the impact of the disease on the health of millions of people across Europe.

Sharing healthcare data safely and beneficially

Our work has identified actions that policymakers and decisionmakers can take to help create environments for the safe, secure and publicly acceptable use and reuse of health data across diverse clinical and disease areas.

  • Medical health care science innovation concept, illustration by Panuwat/Adobe Stock


    How does the pharmaceutical industry reuse health data?

    In an independent study commissioned by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), we examined the factors that can support or hinder the reuse of pharmaceutical data in the EU. We also identified implications for future areas of action to support sustainable data practices.

  • Health data displaying cardiac conduction system


    Exploring and communicating the value of health data

    EFPIA asked us to examine the potential benefits that can stem from the effective use of health data and what challenges need to be overcome to enable appropriate health data use for research and innovation purposes. We also considered the social and technical conditions and safeguards that are required to build landscapes where health data can be used effectively, safely and in a way that is acceptable to the wider public.

Focusing on less common diseases

We are helping identify opportunities for improving healthcare and patient wellbeing in both major chronic disease areas and in the area of more rare diseases, like central diabetes insipidus where the number of patients affected may be comparatively lower, but where their wellbeing is significantly impacted.

  • Male patient In consultation with doctor in office, photo by Monkey Business Images/Adobe Stock


    Diagnosis, treatment and management of central diabetes insipidus

    RAND Europe was commissioned by Ferring Pharmaceuticals to look at care pathways for patients with CDI. The research focused on identifying the factors that influence the diagnosis, treatment and management of patients with CDI, as well as areas to consider that may improve the quality of care that patients receive, and patient outcomes.

Estimating the costs of disease

Quantifying the economic burden of disease is an important part of understanding the burden of disease on society, together with research that considers clinical, wellbeing-related and wider societal impacts on patients, carers and healthcare systems. Our research into the costs of nocturia and into the costs of physical inactivity are examples of our efforts to contribute to a better understanding of the economic burden of disease.

  • Man sits on a bed at night, photo by Stock


    The effect of nightly bathroom trips on health and productivity

    Commissioned by Ferring Pharmaceuticals, we examined the associations between nocturia, wellbeing and economic outcomes in a working-age population and quantified the economic costs of the condition to better understand its impact on society. We found nocturia is associated with up to US$79 billion of lost economic output per year across six countries.

  • Woman jogging in a park, photo by Konstantin Postumitenko/Adobe Stock


    The global economic benefits of improving physical activity

    Supported by Vitality, we identified the costs of inactivity, the benefits of improving physical activity levels and areas where policymakers could encourage physical activity to support health and wellbeing. We found that societies would be healthier and global GDP could increase as much as US$760 billion by 2050 with increased physical activity.

  • Asian baby with a breathing device, photo by mikumistock/Adobe Stock


    Assessing the economic and social impact of respiratory syncytial virus

    RSV poses a significant burden on the healthcare system and on children and their parents or caregivers in the UK. At the request of Sanofi, researchers carried out a rapid evidence assessment and modelling to estimate the wider societal and economic burden of the virus.

  • Warehouse employee sneezing while feeling ill, Photo by Chris Joubert, StratfordProductions/Adobe Stock


    The indirect economic and societal burden of seasonal influenza on the UK

    In 2019, absenteeism and presenteeism cost the UK economy almost £92 billion because of ill-health, but the economic burden specific to seasonal influenza is not well understood. Researchers are exploring the indirect economic and societal burden of seasonal influenza, including its effects on the UK healthcare system.

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