PCORI hands out $114 million in telehealth, research data grants

Collecting data through new sources such as EHRs and engaging minority patients and caregivers in research are among the priorities for a new round of grants from The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

It has awarded more than $114 million over three years to fund comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) focused on heart disease, chronic pain, cancer and other conditions. The grants are designed to help researchers explore ways to support patient and family caregiver decision-making, reduce health disparities and improve healthcare delivery systems, according to an announcement.

It also want to improve methods for studies with little data, such as treatments for rare diseases and newly marketed therapies.

Among the projects:

  • A University of California Los Angeles project using telehealth to deliver pediatric developmental, behavioral and mental health services in primary care settings in underserved areas.
  • A proposal from the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in New York to evaluate a telehealth self-management program for older adults living with heart failure.
  • Projects at Stanford (Calif.) University and Emory University in Atlanta on how to deal with missing data in research.

In addition to the grants, a consortium led by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute in Boston was awarded a $9 million contract to provide technical and logistical support for a new national data network to expand capability to conduct comparative effectiveness research more efficiently.

In announcing plans for the network, PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby said it would bring together patients, researchers and healthcare systems in the research efforts.

Ethan Basch, M.D., director of the Cancer Outcomes Research Program at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, has stressed that patient input is vital to the evaluation of the effectiveness, benefits and harms of various cancer treatments.

Kaiser Permanente has a decades-long history with CER, finding in many cases that cost and effectiveness don't necessarily go together.

To learn more:
- read the announcement