2022 was a big year for Prism, full of changes and accomplishments. In this article, I thought I'd highlight just a handful of the events that stand out for me as big, exciting wins.

Bringing new insight to the landscape of digital health technologies

An abstract illustration of 4 smart watches

With our friends at Janssen, we dove into the challenge of trying to organize and analyze the available information on the use of digital health technologies (DHTs) in clinical trials. This is no simple task given that (a) DHT use is not yet routinely reported in clinical trial registries or publications, and (b) if DHT use is reported, it is hiding in open text fields.

The final write-up of this work is still making its way through the peer-review process, but along the way, we developed a whole new ontology of digital health devices and published a complementary analysis on our site (that was shared by Health Tech Nerds in their newsletter and then quickly went viral, drawing in thousands of visitors).

Referenced by the National Academies, alongside PCORI and Cochrane, in their guidance for conducting systematic reviews

Our UX researcher, Maria Dellapina, wrote a great series of articles for Prism Academy breaking down systematic review methodologies. Back in June, I discovered that this work was not only referenced by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in their guide to systematic reviews, but they actually quote several of Maria's descriptions for the different evidence synthesis methodologies verbatim. Hey, sometimes when you describe something well, there's just no better way to do it!

But what delights me the most about this is how Prism (our small, scrappy startup) is referenced alongside the massive evidence synthesis organizations PCORI and Cochrane. Talk about punching above your weight!

100% success rate for our academic clients applying for external funding

I posted about this one just a few weeks go, so I won't rehash the whole thing here. But needless to say, we are thrilled for our academic clients. And as a former academic myself, who knows the pain and frustration of failed grant applications, it brings me great to joy to be a part of helping these talented thinkers find success.

It is also such an encouraging sign to see that funding organizations recognize the value of academics having an industry partner whose mission is explicitly to take good ideas, transform them into practical tools, and get them into the hands of the decision-makers.

Continuing to lead the way in meta-science with 7 new peer-reviewed publications

From the most comprehensive resource for understanding treatments for opioid-use disorder to visualizing the data in one of the world's largest repositories for patient-level trial data to a handful of articles on the challenges with understanding (and defining) pragmatic clinical trials, Prism had a good year publications-wise.

Following on the above, when I left academia, I swore I was done with the publication game! And yet, here we are. (But in truth, it does still feel good to be helping to put important work out there.)

Here's the complete list of references.

  • Sugarman A, Vittitow A, Cheng A, Malone M, McDonald R, Pace N, Williams O, Tofighi B, McNeely J, Schatz D, Roberts T. Opioid Use Disorder Treatments: An Evidence Map. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2022 Dec 1;241:109657.
  • Liu H, Carini S, Chen Z, Hey SP, Sim I, Weng C. Ontology-based categorization of clinical studies by their conditions. Journal of Biomedical Informatics. 2022 Nov 1;135:104235.
  • Taljaard M, Nicholls SG, Howie AH, Nix HP, Carroll K, Moon PM, Nightingale NM, Giraudeau B, Hey SP, Eldridge SM, Weijer C. An analysis of published trials found that current use of pragmatic trial labels is uninformative. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. 2022 Nov 1;151:113-21.
  • Tarride JE, Cheung M, Hanna TP, Cipriano LE, Regier DA, Hey SP, Chan KK, Mittmann N. Platform, Basket, and Umbrella Trial Designs: Issues Around Health Technology Assessment of Novel Therapeutics. Canadian Journal of Health Technologies. 2022 Jul 6;2(7).
  • Benjamin DM, Hey SP, MacPherson A, Hachem Y, Smith KS, Zhang SX, Wong S, Dolter S, Mandel DR, Kimmelman J. Principal investigators over-optimistically forecast scientific and operational outcomes for clinical trials. PloS one. 2022 Feb 8;17(2):e0262862.
  • Nicholls SG, Carroll K, Nix HP, Li F, Hey SP, Mitchell SL, Weijer C, Taljaard M. Ethical considerations within pragmatic randomized controlled trials in dementia: Results from a literature survey. Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions. 2022;8(1):e12287.
  • Hey SP, Kuiper J, Fleck C. Metascience Solutions for the Paradox of Evidence-Based Decision Making. Signal. 2022:06.