At the end of February, NESTcc hosted its first Data Strategy Convening to solicit input from stakeholders on key operating principles and processes that will set NESTcc up for success as it launches its Data Network in the coming months. We approached the day with three objectives:

    1. Information sharing and strategy
    2. Practical recommendations for NESTcc
    3. Networking and relationship building between attendees

I was encouraged to hear perspectives from health systems, industry, payers, and the FDA about where the ecosystem stands today and how NESTcc can help establish a path forward. Stakeholders were aligned on the goals of improving the quality of data in order to improve patient outcomes and guide decision-making in near real-time, and at a lower-cost.

Leading a Data Strategy Discussion

Following presentations on NESTcc’s history and activities to date, Governing Committee Interim Chair Michelle McMurry-Heath facilitated a discussion with industry and payer communities on what they are hoping for in NESTcc. We also learned from potential NESTcc Network Collaborators what current data capabilities exist and where there are gaps in medical device evidence generation. After this engaging discussion, which provided insights into the perceived benefits and challenges that NESTcc faces, the participants divided into discussion groups.

In one room, current and potential NESTcc Network Collaborators considered how NESTcc might evolve over the next few years, requirements for collaboration, and expectations for the NESTcc Data Network. In parallel, FDA, payers, and industry stakeholders held a similar discussion centered around their needs and expectations for NESTcc. After engaging discussions within stakeholder groups, the conversation became more dynamic as the groups integrated together for the final discussion of the day. During this last discussion, each stakeholder group brought their own perspectives and identified areas of synergy and areas that will need more facilitation to find agreement among different perspectives.

Key Takeaways from Data Strategy Convening

Coming out of the meeting, I was energized by the conversations. It was clear that stakeholders enjoyed the opportunity to meet in person and see a role for NESTcc in reducing barriers to collaboration across the medical device field and generally reducing burden in the ecosystem today. During the robust discussion throughout the day, we were reminded of the diversity among the stakeholder groups and that interests and needs will depend on the size and scale of the stakeholder group.

A key point of the day was understanding what it will take for NESTcc Network Collaborators to participate in NESTcc studies. Three important principles that emerged through the day’s discussion were the ability for collaborators to choose which studies to participate in, being financially compensated for time, and scientific involvement and input into the activities. In general, all attendees shared the importance of developing Data Quality and Methods Standards, as well as the important role that NESTcc can play in streamlining the administrative burden regarding non-disclosure agreements and contracting.

We were encouraged that industry and network collaborators continue to be interested in participating in NESTcc and conducting RWE studies.

Moving Forward

We are looking forward to continuing the momentum in developing the Data Network that began at the meeting. Over the next few weeks NESTcc will be working with the participating NESTcc Network Collaborators to put fundamental building blocks in place such as a non-disclosure agreements, master service agreements, and participation agreements.

We’re also starting to make progress toward developing the Data Quality and Methods standards. The first step is the formation of two subcommittees: Data Quality and Methods.

I’m happy to share that NESTcc recently launched a Call for Experts to its Data Quality and Methods Subcommittees, which will represent different stakeholder perspectives. Individuals who are interested in applying or nominating a candidate should visit nestcc.org/opportunities to access full subcommittee descriptions and an application form. The deadline to apply is April 18, 2018 at 5p.m. EST.

I look forward to continuing to build NESTcc’s success, keeping these key takeaways in mind. I will continue to post updates, but in the meantime, I invite you to bookmark the NESTcc website where you can find our recent news and my blogs, follow us on Twitter (@NESTccMedTech) and LinkedIn, or subscribe to receive periodic email updates.

Rachael Fleurence
Executive Director
NESTcc