Femke Oldenziel, our Real-World-Evidence Lead in Europe, is on a mission to unlock the value of real-world data through ARWEN

The potential of using real-world data to reach evidence-based decision-making is becoming more evident daily. Clinicians, medical policymakers, life science companies and patients alike are ready to start gathering and sharing data, but a lack of reliable infrastructure and standardisation is holding the movement back. But that is about to change with ARWEN, the Actionable Real-World Evidence Network, said Femke. Time for a deep dive. 

What was the urgency of launching ARWEN?  

I worked in healthcare for over ten years, focusing on data and medicines consultancy.   

I was always surprised by the limited understanding of how patients are treated in daily practice. Simple insights like how many patients are being treated in a hospital or which drugs are prescribed to which patients are often hard to answer for different stakeholders.  

Working in different hospitals, I realised that Real-World Data holds the answer to these questions. There is a huge opportunity  to improve the care for patients by utilising these data.

Hospital data is siloed. This hinders the creation of insights around (new) treatments in a real-world setting. As a result, there is suboptimal sharing of knowledge about current guidelines and the newest or best treatment options. ARWEN sets out to break down these siloes to make the generation of Real-World Data easy and the use of treatment insights in daily practice a reality.

Femke Oldenziel, Real-World-Evidence Lead, Europe

In the ideal world, we want to make decisions based on information that reflects the real patient population rather than only Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs), a form of research that only includes a highly selective population and that is managed in tightly controlled settings.  

Especially around drug treatment, there is still limited access to insights across Europe. Once a drug has been approved and entered the market, we no longer monitor these treatments. Real-world data helps to understand how drugs are used in the real world and how effective they are, so different stakeholders can make better choices around the treatment of patients.    

How does ARWEN help hospitals?

ARWEN connects hospitals so they can easily share healthcare data. By connecting a significant amount of real-world data this way, it is possible to get reliable insights about the effectiveness of treatments across hospitals.  

Additionally, life science companies can now get those relevant insights into the real-world use of their products. But even more importantly, it allows the participating hospitals to gain insights into how well they treat patients. At the same time, benchmarking features enables them to compare their clinical practice to that of others. With these insights, they can identify areas of improvement and increase the quality of their care.


Giving insights into your daily practice through data analysis  


Benchmarking your clinical practice against that of others   


Allowing you to learn from others by getting a view outside of your hospital walls  


Empowering you to identify improvement potential in the treatments you offer  

Why are you passionate about ARWEN?   

I genuinely think that this initiative can help improve the treatments for patients. Together with our forward-thinking team and network, we want to positively impact healthcare in Europe.  

What developments for ARWEN can we expect in 2023?  

We want to sign up as many hospitals as possible throughout Europe. That way, we can ensure that we can offer various treatment insights for better decision-making, so  the care of patients in Europe can be improved.  

At this moment, we are in contact with various healthcare providers in the Netherlands, UK, Spain, Sweden and Germany. Our ambition is to expand to other European countries as well.  

ARWEN connects forward-thinking hospitals and clinicians to a network that enables benchmarking, promotes collaboration, and facilitates sharing of treatment insights across different healthcare systems.  

the network for forward thinking healthcare providers

ARWEN is powered by