Because most clinical studies are relatively small and don't pertain to the experiences of the 'typical patient' who walks into their offices, doctors are challenged to give patients an honest answer about how a drug or treatment will affect them personally.
To fill these knowledge gaps, researcher Lynn Etheredge and a team at George Washington University, with support from RWJF, developed and popularized the concept of a rapid-learning health system.
By crunching vast amounts of data from the electronic health records of millions of real-world patients, we can quickly get information about the most effective technologies, drugs and procedures into the hands of medical practitioners.
Etheredge’s work guided the launch of the first prototype of a rapid learning model for the treatment of breast cancer. Rapid learning is now being adopted by Medicare and Medicaid, the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Science Foundation.