What is the problem

The patient voice has power. Hospitals and clinics across the country are increasingly collecting patient-reported outcomes (PROs). How can routinely-collected PROs predict adverse outcomes and shed light on disparities?

What are we doing

In one project funded by the NCI, we developed methodologies to incorporate PROs into standard prognostic algorithms to improve prediction of mortality by 25%. In another project, we found that Black patients with cancer completed PROs at significantly lower rates than White patients, but reported significantly higher symptom burden than White patients. Disturbed by this finding, we are now studying ways to increase completion of PROs through remote technologies and behavioral economics.


Our findings have spurred efforts at Penn Medicine to improve PRO completion among Black and other minority communities and to develop interfaces to display information in a digestible way. We have now patented our methodology to develop flexible algorithms that incorporate PRO data when its available and are working with other health systems to incorporate their PROs into better predictive tools.



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March 27, 2024

PGHD in the HACLab

This blog highlights patient-generated health data (PGHD) by reviewing a case study of one of our clinical trials: PROStep: A Feasibility Trial Using PROs and Step Data to Monitor Patients With Lung and GI Cancers


Author: Will Ferrell

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