Weill Cornell Medicine Awarded Funding to Study Telemedicine and Clinical Care of COVID-19

doctor in white coat talking to patient via a tele communication service

Weill Cornell Medicine investigators have received a total of $3.5 million from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to study the effectiveness of telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to develop models that can aid in clinical decision making in the treatment of the virus.

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Dr. Rainu Kaushal

PCORI is an independent, nonprofit institute sponsored by the United States government that funds studies to help patients, clinicians and caregivers make better-informed healthcare decisions.

“The goal of these studies is to use the abundant data that is accumulating around COVID-19, from electronic health records and other digital sources, to better understand health outcomes related to the virus. These findings can help patients and those caring for them navigate treatment and other healthcare services related to the virus,” said Dr. Rainu Kaushal, senior associate dean of clinical research and chair of the Department of Population Health Sciences, and a principal investigator on both studies. “We are grateful to PCORI for supporting this important research.”

a woman posing for a headshot photo

Dr. Jessica Ancker

Dr. Kaushal and co-principal investigator Dr. Jessica Ancker, an associate professor of population health sciences, are receiving a $3 million grant to evaluate the effectiveness of telemedicine in primary care during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the widespread shift from in-person to remote visits necessitated by the pandemic, the investigators will study how diverse populations access telemedicine, and their experiences. They will also examine the impact of telemedicine on those with chronic disease, and whether it benefits all patients equally. The researchers will draw on the network and data of PCORnet®, National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network at PCORI, which supports research on patients’ clinical experience using information like electronic health records and health registry data.

Dr. Kaushal, who is also the Nanette Laitman Distinguished Professor of Healthcare Policy and Research, has also received $500 thousand from PCORI to use electronic health record data to help guide clinical decision making in treating COVID-19. She and her team will develop models to help predict outcomes related to the need for intensive care, intubation and risk of death among patients hospitalized due to the virus.

Drs. Kaushal and Ancker’s awards have been approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract.

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