BD announced this week it has partnered with Mercy Technology Services to analyze the real-world use of its devices using a clinical data platform.
MTS, the IT unit of large U.S. health system Mercy, built the platform over the past decade by collecting its records on Epic's electronic system and developing tools that extract and analyze data. Mercy has now teamed up with BD to cut costs related to patients with multiple comorbidities.
BD also released preliminary results Thursday morning for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2018, indicating revenue worth $4.16 billion. Taking into account the acquisition of medtech manufacturer C.R. Bard, which closed in December 2017, BD reported comparable year-over-year revenue growth of 5.2%.
Mercy's decision to invest in its data capabilities has paid off over the past few years. Since striking a deal with Medtronic to use real-world data to answer questions about medical devices in 2017, MTS has entered into similar agreements with Johnson & Johnson and BD. The agreements have distinguishing features but share a core focus on using real-world clinical data to improve treatment with medical devices.
BD has angled its collaboration with MTS toward patients with multiple comorbidities, meaning they suffer from more than one adverse condition. The interactions of these conditions can cause healthcare spending to rise.
The preliminary earnings indicate BD enjoyed a benefit from both stronger performance from its three core business segments and the timing of certain tax items.
"The company recently became aware of the timing of a tax benefit that will affect the quarter and caused earnings to be well above this range," analysts at William Blair wrote to investors. "While it is important to note that not all of the EPS upside came from this tax benefit and the core actually performed better than the company expected, management felt that rather than wait for numbers to come in and then catch consensus by surprise when it reports, it was better to preannounce to get this message out now."
BD will host its quarterly earnings call Feb. 5.
One study of U.S. adults with hypertension suggested annual healthcare spending on patients with one comorbidity is almost 50% higher than on people without a comorbidity. The figures continue to rise by a further 43% and 67% as the number of comorbidities increases to two and three. Spending on people with three comorbidities is 256% higher than on people who only have hypertension.
Other studies have identified similar trends for different diseases, making the cost of treating people with comorbidities a focal point of efforts to control healthcare spending. BD and MTS think clinical data may support these efforts.
The collaborators will initially work to optimize clinical and operational processes for BD's integrated vascular therapy and vascular access management. Specifically, MTS will create dashboards to show the effect of BD's products and processes depending on the patient, condition, therapy and care setting. MTS will also track complication rates and validate criteria for picking vascular access devices.
BD services the vascular access management market with devices such as peripheral intravenous catheters and guidance technologies. The medtech giant stepped up its interest in vascular therapy in 2017 with the $24 billion acquisition of C.R. Bard.
That makes vascular therapy and vascular access management key areas for BD but it has an interest in using Mercy's data in other ways, too. Down the line, BD and MTS may expand the collaboration to cover other care pathways.
Maria Rachal contributed to this story.