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Primary data collection

We generate real-world evidence to drive research.

The Optum® HEOR Primary Data Collection (PDC) team focuses on real-world evidence generation through primary and secondary data.

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Proven research expertise

Researchers on the Optum HEOR PDC team have diverse backgrounds in psychology, sociology, mental health and health services research. The team brings expertise in primary data collection methodologies as well as licensure in social work. 

The PDC researcher team is proficient across all major therapeutic areas. These include endocrine and metabolic, respiratory, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, oncology and immunology, mental health, central nervous system and infectious disease.

Since 2009, Optum HEOR has contributed over 100 conference presentations and publications in peer-reviewed journals from primary data collection studies covering a broad range of conditions, outcomes and methods.

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Comprehensive data collection

The Optum Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) Primary Data Collection (PDC) team focuses on real-world evidence generation with emphasis on two key areas of data collection. 

We conduct prospective observational studies combining primary data collection methodologies with secondary data contained in our proprietary Optum Research Database (ORD). Sources for most PDC studies include survey and medical chart abstraction. 

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Unparalleled insight into the patient journey

Directly linking the patient’s primary data to their claims data during the same time period provides an unparalleled insight into the patient’s health care journey. 

With unique depth and breadth, our PDC study designs answer questions from payers, health care providers, patients and regulatory agencies.

We offer:

  • Patient survey studies
  • Physician survey studies
  • Medical chart abstraction studies
  • Panel survey studies
  • Quantitative and qualitative study designs

PDC studies are often designed to: 

  • Examine unmet needs for new therapies and treatments
  • Explore patient and physician reasons for behavior
  • Improve our understanding of the heterogeneity of treatment effect

Recent PDC studies have addressed a variety of questions using patient reported outcome (PRO) or chart-based measures for:

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  • General and condition-related health status
  • Treatment satisfaction    
  • Symptoms and symptom severity
  • Reasons for discontinuation/switching 
  • Dosing, administration preferences   
  • OTC treatment use and cost 
  • Productivity (indirect costs)
  • Patient activation
  • Health behaviors (diet, exercise, smoking)
  • Patient understanding of regimen
  • Shared decision making
  • Basic clinical information (diagnosis, height, weight)  
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  • Disease severity  
  • Disease-related clinical characteristics (e.g., symptoms, stage at diagnosis, affected joints, tumor histology) 
  • Disease progression
  • Date of disease onset
  • Laboratory results
  • Imaging results 
  • Vital signs and history
  • Severity of adverse events   
  • Survival 
  • Algorithm validation

Meet our experts

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Valery Walker, MSc

Primary Data Collection Research Director

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Resource library

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Meeting real-world evidence challenges

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