• Information Types

Medical Claims

Understanding Medical Practice through Medical Claims

IMS Health draws on patient anonymous information from medical claims that is submitted to payers for reimbursement. In the U.S., we use one of the largest repositories of electronic medical claims available to capture about two-thirds of the country’s medical claims. The claims information helps us build a foundation of real-world evidence spanning anonymous patient interactions with healthcare professionals in all care settings, across geographies and therapeutic areas, including:

  • Diagnoses
  • Procedures performed
  • Tests conducted
  • Drugs administered

Payer: Commercial and Public

A Data-Centered View of Real-World Healthcare Delivery

Administrative claims data—patient anonymous  member/patient data on all the claims submitted to a payer or commissioner—are a rich source of real-world evidence on health, treatment practices, and cost and quality outcomes. This payer information reflects anonymized patients’ medical expenses. Generated from physicians, laboratories, hospitals, emergency rooms, clinics and pharmacies, treatment and outcomes details on large populations can help:

  • Understand patients’ overall experiences with the healthcare system
  • Demonstrate the real-world effectiveness of products and treatment protocols
  • Measure the effectiveness of providers and health management strategies
  • Engage stakeholders in improving the cost and quality of care

Electronic Medical Records

A Critical Connector in the Treatment Continuum

Around the world, IMS Health collects patient-anonymous EMR data from the vendors who develop the software and from the healthcare providers who use it. With input from 85,000 physicians, our database captures more than 33 million records for unique, anonymous patients covering:

  • Patient characteristics, such as height/weight and allergies
  • Diagnosis evaluated or assessed
  • Biomedical information and vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature
  • Lab procedures ordered and their results


Global Measures of Dispensing Activity

IMS Health captures elements of the prescription details recorded in retail pharmacies of all types—chain, independent, mail-order and specialty. This information helps life sciences organizations understand the regular prescribing activity of nearly 1.4 million healthcare providers. In total, we receive data on more than three billion prescription transactions a year, with details on:

  • Patient anonymous demographics
  • Drug name
  • Dosing information
  • Whether the prescription is new or a refill
  • The physician’s identity and specialty

Patient Registries

Registries of Health Conditions and Clinical Practices

IMS Health works with patient anonymous information from registries of patients with specific conditions or those receiving a particular treatment. These registries are maintained all over the world by healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies and researchers. Some focus on public health initiatives, others on specific disease treatments. Registries often include insights such as:

  • Patient quality of life
  • Reasons for treatment changes
  • Structured measures of disease severity
  • Treatment and care information


Diagnostic Reports from the Industry’s Largest Anonymous Patient Set

IMS Health collects patient anonymous data on the type and results of patients’ diagnostic tests—laboratory work and medical imaging—that are ordered by providers to determine diagnoses or monitor progress. In the U.S. and key EU countries, we receive data electronically; in others, we collect it through primary market research. Diagnostic data help our clients to:

  • Assess patient populations by severity of illness or morphology
  • Examine treatment outcomes
  • Observe the differences in treatment choices by severity of illness
  • Evaluate product performance by linking diagnostic, diagnosis and treatment data together

Consumer/Social Media

Real Insights for Responding to the Market

Social media have become an indispensable source of information for life sciences companies as patients, caregivers, physicians, payers, providers and advocacy groups increasingly use the Web to discuss health-related issues. IMS Health uses a mix of automated and human intelligence to gather virtual content related to drugs, treatments and companies. Using our cloud-based listening platform, organizations can gain insights from the Web in real time—applying our global expertise in privacy-enhancing technologies, methodologies and practices to advance strong data protection and patient privacy. These insights shed light on:

  • Consumer and physician sentiments
  • The reputations of brands and companies
  • Disease areas that could fuel ongoing innovation
  • Emerging trends, as reflected at conferences, congresses and events

Promotional Spending

Measures of Global Promotional Spending and Response

More than 30,000 physicians around the world regularly report to IMS Health on the type, frequency and quality of the promotion they receive on life sciences products. Through our physician panels in 35 countries and our measures of direct-to-consumer advertising, we audit 95 percent of the world’s promoted markets. From this, we produce national estimates of promotional expenditures for individual products, covering both qualitative and quantitative feedback on:

  • In-person sales calls
  • e-detailing sessions
  • Continuing education courses, meetings and congresses
  • Direct mail and promotional materials
  • Professional websites
  • Direct-to-consumer advertising
  • Clinical trial participation


Advancing Healthcare with Genomic Information

Genomic sequence data is unlocking opportunities to improve health, patient by patient. IMS Health is working with select research hospitals and academic institutions to determine how to best use this information to improve healthcare without compromising patient privacy. Life sciences R&D departments and clinical researchers can use this insight into the mechanisms behind disease to:

  • Identify potential therapeutic targets for development
  • Uncover new treatment pathways
  • Identify genetic markers for drug response
  • Select the case population for clinical trials
  • Perform post-marketing surveillance

Reference Data

Integrated Profiles of U.S. Providers, Organizations and Plans 

IMS Health provides continually updated information on B2B relationships for the 1m+ healthcare organizations and plans, which include affiliations, organizational hierarchies, and contractual relationships—connections that influence treatment protocols and purchase decisions. Within these organizations, extending across 140+ Classes of Trade, we track more than 14.3 million healthcare provider and contact P2B affiliations. This holistic and dynamic view of the U.S. healthcare industry provides:

  • Reference files on 90 percent of all life sciences manufacturer U.S.-based customers
  • Profiles on professionals, organizations and plans along with their interrelationships
  • Professional listings with source identifiers, certifications and industry authorizations


The Vital Link between Diagnosis and Treatment

IMS Health maintains panels of physicians in 40+ countries who report to us on their prescribing practices, including dosing details. These records provide the physician’s diagnosis and the treatment prescribed for anonymous patients, revealing how health is being managed. With in-depth knowledge of epidemiology and care decisions, clients can:

  • Make R&D investment decisions
  • Match their product positioning to market needs
  • Develop effective sales and marketing strategies
  • Adapt their brand strategies as products mature
  • Identify treatment variability of prescribing practices relative to published guidelines
  • Devise public policy initiatives and measure their impact

Sales Data

A Unique Global Measure of Product Demand

Anticipating opportunities in the global life sciences marketplace requires a single measure of sales volume, market share and trends, which we offer through IMS MIDAS. In more than 100 countries, IMS Health collects data on the sale of ethical pharmaceutical products, capturing more than 95 percent of the value of the global market. In some markets, we produce a census while in others we project data to national estimates. Sales performance can be compared across countries, competitors, therapies and products—all segmented by distribution channel. Manufacturers of pharmaceutical products use these international measures to:

  • Optimize their portfolios
  • Benchmark their performance against competitors
  • Track product launch performance
  • Monitor the effectiveness of promotional activities
  • Manage their supply chain effectively

Primary Market Research

Primary Market Research to Amplify Secondary Data

IMS Health conducts primary research with physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, payers and patients. We can integrate these findings—both qualitative and quantitative—with our secondary data. We conduct one-on-one interviews, focus groups and questionnaires, performing more than 200,000 interviews a year in 50+ countries. IMS Health maintains a community of thousands of physicians that can be tapped as needed. IMS Health’s primary market research helps to:

  • Uncover subjects’ attitudes, motivations and intentions
  • Explain findings drawn from our secondary data assets
  • Inform our advisory services and strategic planning work with a complete understanding of a market condition or issue