MTS Launches Real World Evidence Insights Offering for Advanced Research Partnerships

Initiative uses curated, de-identified data for advance research partnerships with drug and device makers, regulators and more to power better patient care.

ST. LOUIS (August 13, 2019) – Mercy Technology Services (MTS), the information backbone of St. Louis-based Mercy health system, has launched a new real world evidence (RWE) insights offering designed to make better use of clinical data and leading-edge analytics for cultivating a new model of patient care.

Developed in partnership with global tech giant SAP, MTS’ new network draws on the vast amounts of de-identified clinical data generated by Mercy's electronic health records (EHRs) and other sources, establishing what has the potential to grow into one of the world’s largest database of RWE.

MTS Real World Evidence

Launching with a focus on orthopedic, cardiology and oncology evidence, MTS’ RWE Insights offering is unlike others in that its – primarily drug and device makers and regulatory agencies – are supplied with curated data, not data dumps, which is refreshed regularly with any new records and patient encounters and then organized by Mercy’s data scientists to answer many questions as they arise. Unlike claims and registry data, subscribers also get detailed information at the clinical practice level and access to clinicians to give the data context, making it easy to understand.

Powered by the SAP HANA database and ten years in the making, MTS’ RWE solution draws insights from millions of Mercy’s de-identified patient records. The initiative has a sizeable head start in harnessing RWE thanks to Mercy’s early work in unique device identification, the FDA-sponsored BUILD initiative, huge volumes of diverse data and more than a decade of records for historical analysis. Using award-winning natural language processing (NLP), MTS also extracts data from doctors’ notes for up to 80 percent more clinical information, resulting in deeper, more accurate intelligence.



Mercy’s RWE work is proving to be a game-changer in helping leaders across health care industries make smarter decisions that benefit patients.

“We began this work to ensure the medical devices Mercy uses work for patients,” said Dr. Joseph Drozda, Mercy’s director of outcomes research and pioneer in using unique device identifiers for tracking implanted medical devices (e.g., coronary stents, pacemakers, etc.). “With more than 8,000 new medical devices entering the market each year, it’s critical that we find better ways to evaluate their performance.”

RWE helped Mercy shine a light on the cost of devices compared to their outcomes, highlighting products that have potential to work best at the best price point. In the first three years of RWE use, Mercy saved an estimated $33 million in implanted devices and surgical supplies without sacrificing exceptional care.

Thanks to these advancements and RWE wins, Mercy announced research partnerships with global health technology leaders Johnson and Johnson Medical Devices, Medtronic and BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), using MTS’ solution to gain insight about the effectiveness of their medical devices and the clinical variables that factor into it.

“Having the ability to study patient care pathways and conditions before and after exposure to a medical device is crucial to understanding how those devices perform outside of the controlled clinical trial setting,” said Dr. Rick Kuntz, SVP of strategic scientific operations at Medtronic. “By partnering together, Mercy and Medtronic have set out to create a comprehensive and economical evidence generation model that ultimately allows patients to benefit from the latest therapies and technologies as early as possible.”

The potential of MTS’ RWE Insights creates value for each of its stakeholders.

  • Medical device and pharmaceutical companies can subscribe to RWE to help address regulatory requirements, drive drug and device development, support outcomes-based contracts and reduce their products’ time to market.  
  • Federal health agencies can use RWE to enhance monitoring a product’s safety once it’s on the market, tracking adverse events and leveraging data for regulatory decisions.  
  • Patients are the most important beneficiaries of this initiative, as more effective use of data by suppliers can lead to products that ensure better outcomes.

“It’s a clinical research model where everyone wins,” said Curtis Dudley, MTS’ vice president of data analytics. “Mercy built our RWE platform to make sure we’re providing the best possible care, but with an urgent need for data-driven change across health care, it just makes sense to scale our efforts and share our unique capabilities to create better care for patients everywhere.”

“This partnership with Mercy demonstrates SAP’s commitment to improving healthcare effectiveness and innovating with customers as strategic partners,” said Martin Mrugal, Global Head of Customer Success at SAP.



Mercy Technology Services (MTS) provides and manages technology solutions for Mercy, one of the largest Catholic health systems in the nation, and since 2014 extends services to other health care providers. An early adopter of Epic’s EHR, Mercy became the nation’s first to be accredited by Epic to offer EHR solutions to other hospitals, including Epic in the cloud, implementation and optimization. With MTS’s full suite of health care offerings including health care cloud, managed services, imaging-as-a-service, disaster recovery and BaaS, hospitals can reduce IT costs and risks. MTS’s award-winning data analytics help reduce waste, manage health care’s highest costs and support a model of care that keeps patients healthier.

Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems from 2016 to 2019 by IBM Watson Health, serves millions annually. Mercy includes more than 40 acute care, managed and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, 900 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 45,000 co-workers and 2,400 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has clinics, outpatient services and outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. In addition, Mercy's IT division, Mercy Technology Services, supply chain organization, ROi, and Mercy Virtual commercially serve providers and patients in more than 20 states coast to coast.

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