Value in psoriasis (IRIS) trial: implementing value-based healthcare in psoriasis management

Grantee: Jo Lambert, Professor, Ghent University

Amount: DKK 2,601,672

Grant category: Research Grants in open competition

Year: 2023

Geography: Belgium

Jo Lambert’s project will conduct a clinical investigator-initiated trial to examine the feasibility of using a value-based healthcare (VBHC) framework (i.e., a healthcare delivery model in which providers, including hospitals and physicians, are paid based on patient health outcomes), in relation to psoriasis management and treatment with an aim to optimize value for patients.

The healthcare sector is under tremendous financial pressure and the quality of care varies strongly. Many acknowledge that a shift towards a sustainable system is needed. For this reason, the conceptual framework known as value-based healthcare (VBHC) is further explored in this project in which psoriasis management is taken as a model to study VBHC implementation.

The objective of Jo Lambert’s project is to investigate the feasibility of using the VBHC framework for the management of psoriasis. This is done through a prospective clinical study in which new patients attending the dedicated psoriasis clinic (PsoPlus) of the Ghent University Hospital will be followed during at least a period of 1 year. The main outcome is to determine the created value for psoriasis patients.

The created value will be considered as a reflection of the evolution of the value score (i.e., the weighted outputs (outcomes) divided by weighted inputs (costs)) obtained using data envelopment analysis (a non-parametric method to compare productive efficiency). Secondary outcomes are related to comorbidity control, outcome evolution, treatment costs and defining a bundled payment scheme.

Once completed, the findings of Jo Lambert’s project will be disseminated by various means: (1) publication in one or more peer- reviewed dermatology and/or management journals, (2) (inter)national congresses, (3) via the psoriasis patient community and (4) through the research team’s social media channels.

The results obtained may provide a basis for more efficient psoriasis treatment with improved patient value.

The LEO Foundation Award 2022 – Region EMEA

Grantee: Dr. Esther Hoste, Assistant Professor, Ghent University

Amount: USD 100,000

Grant category: LEO Foundation Awards

Year: 2022

Geography: Belgium

Dr. Esther Hoste is Assistant Professor at the Department of Biomedical Molecular Biology at Ghent University, Belgium.

She receives the award for her impressive ability to produce research at the forefront of our understanding of skin biology and as a recognition of her exemplary leadership to her team and to future generations of researchers. Esther Hoste is a talent that has already demonstrated an extensive track record of providing advances to our understanding of the skin and its diseases – with important findings on the mechanisms behind wound healing, skin regeneration, skin inflammation and skin tumor formation published by herself and her lab.

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Development and validation of scoring systems for outcome measures of vitiligo: an international cooperative initiative

Grantee: Professor, Dr Nanja van Geel, Department of Dermatology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent

Amount: DKK 735,000

Grant category: Research Grants in open competition

Year: 2016

Geography: Belgium

Clinical trials for vitiligo – a skin disease that causes loss of skin color in blotches – lack uniformity in reported outcomes and the measurements hereof. This lack of uniformity hampers development of general treatment guidelines, as it limits appropriate interpretation and comparison of results. In particular, since vitiligo is without biomarkers, clinical measurement tools are crucial to assess disease extent.

A recently introduced scoring instrument, Vitiligo Extent Score (VES), will play a central role in this international project. The project team comprises researchers from Belgium, Netherlands, France, Italy, and the UK, and their aim is to create a worldwide consensus on measuring disease severity.

The VES was designed to be intuitive, fast and accurate, and the team has successfully performed an initial validation for estimating global disease extent. The aim of this project is to further develop and validate reliable and feasible instruments to assess vitiligo status in order to improve evidence-based therapeutic decisions and develop novel treatments.

Hereafter, the tool will be used for the development of other scoring methods including a patient-reported outcome measure, a physician global assessment, a vitiligo disease activity score, and a digital image analysis system for target lesions.

Care for chronic skin diseases with a patient-centric approach

Grantee: Professor Lieve Brochez, University of Ghent

Amount: EUR 330,000

Grant category: Research Grants in open competition

Year: 2013

Geography: Belgium

Skin cancer is currently the most frequent type of cancer. At present, life-time risk is estimated at one in six and, with an ageing population, this is expected to increase even more. It is assumed that early detection allows better cure rates and more cost-effective treatment, and skin cancer thus seems suitable for screening initiatives. However, questions remain about the cost–benefit ratio.

This study is led by Professor Lieve Brochez of the University of Ghent, Belgium. It aims to calculate the actual cost of skin cancer in Belgium, the expected cost with an ageing population and how much early detection of skin cancer could affect these costs.

The team will use the results to develop an internationally applicable health-economic model. The model will allow other European countries to use local data, enabling data to be compared across Europe.

Secondly, the study will evaluate a new skin cancer screening approach to compare the yield of this type of screening to the yield of systematic screening in an asymptomatic population within a well-defined population.

Quality of life will be assessed for all screened persons with skin cancer and/or actinic keratosis in order to generate patient-centric data to evaluate the burden of skin cancer.