London-based health analytics organisation, Outcomes Based Healthcare (OBH) may well have become better known during the recent Covid-19 affected months, but they have been steadily influencing approaches to healthcare in England for a number of years.
OBH was founded by former GP, Dr Rupert Dunbar-Rees in 2013, with clinician Dr Nasrin Hafezparast and economist Juliana Bersani. At OBH, they run a team of clinicians, developers, data scientists and analysts, economists and public health specialists which supports sustainable healthcare and transformation of the way healthcare measures and funds success.
In just a few years they have gone from a start-up with a mission statement to a selected participant in a NHS Innovation Accelerator programme, where they forged their reputation, to recipient of a Queen’s Award winner of innovation.
But then there is little doubt that they have had a role of national importance in the last 12 months.
Dr Dunbar-Rees said: “It was quite fortuitous that we had already been working with NHS England and the wider NHS to create and develop datasets which subsequently enabled an understanding, at the onset of the pandemic, about what proportion of the population was vulnerable to serious illness from Covid-19.
“For example, if you have certain long term conditions or are undergoing certain treatments that that can put you at much greater risk. This kind of information hadn’t routinely been widely available at a detailed enough level. But through the work we have been doing locally and nationally over the last few years we have developed data sets, data models and data approaches which could then be rapidly redeployed as part of the pandemic response.”
Additionally, OBH’s co-production of data sets with NHS England and NHS Arden and GEM Commissioning Support Unit have been used to research additional risk of serious illness for people living with diabetes. This data supported an authoritative text on the subject by NHS England, and publication in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology last summer.
It’s just one of the many brilliant examples of the power of healthcare analytics in creating actionable insights to support the national response to Covid-19.
Further, OBH’s work has been used to help understand vulnerable populations and support planning and logistics of the vaccination campaign.
Today OBH’s mission has now grown from incentivising better treatment for people who were already ill to prevention by measuring, through their own outcomes product ‘HealthSpan®’, how long people stay in good health as a proportion of their overall life.
As Dr Dunbar-Rees said: “It’s about trying to understand how we measure whether healthcare is making a difference or not. We often pay for care that we don’t know is actually making any difference, when actually the money may be better spent on prevention activities to stop people even becoming patients in the first place.”
Prevention is better than cure, they say, and this approach is clearly having an impact at the most critical of times. It’s helped OBH land this prestigious award which, said Dr Dunbar-Rees, is important for team morale and recognition, but also for OBH’s own growth: “This is not about growth for growth’s sake, but with an ethical underpinning and a lot of those values can be seen in the Queen’s Awards.”
“We were particularly attracted to the Innovation category which is where was see ourselves being at the forefront of innovation in healthcare analytics.”
Evidently and justifiably others do too.
To find out more visit outcomesbasedhealthcare.com/