The Delphi Method: 3 Ways It Supports Healthcare Innovations

Posted: 11th January 2024
Categories: Delphi Method

The Delphi method: a highly effective approach to understand & assimilate expert opinion


The Delphi method is a systematic research approach that supports groups of experts to converge on agreement through iterative rounds of controlled feedback. The method originated in the late 1940’s as a forecasting tool to inform the use and impact of emerging technologies on US national security approaches. Delphi studies are now a widely used to generate new evidence that supports decisions and action.


The Delphi method, widely used in Healthcare 


As a robust research method, it is a growing real-world evidence approach to support decisions in healthcare. With over 3,000 studies published in the healthcare space worldwide last year alone, the approach aims to help bring change to health systems.

A Delphi method is often used when existing evidence is ambiguous, missing or simply not actioned upon. There are 3 main areas where this can be helpful:



1. Establishing the unmet need of a condition with the Delphi method

A Delphi study can help the recognition of the needs of certain patients and can define what is currently unaddressed by current innovations or approaches. For example, Triducive has previously designed and delivered Delphi studies with multi-disciplinary experts that have defined a specific patient population (their characteristics and needs). This was used to champion a different approach for treatment guidelines.

View a case study where we helped define a clinical cohort with specific treatment needs.


2. Defining best practices and encouraging their adoption with the Delphi method

Current care pathways and activities can often be outdated due to changes in technology, best practice or evidence, but bringing about co-ordinated changes can be difficult when pathways are established. By defining new best practice across a care pathway using the galvanising perspectives of experts in the field is probably the most common application for Delphi method that we are involved in and we’ve helped across many therapy areas here. The results are powerful and can also inform policy from national to local.

View a case study that helped build the case for policy changes.


3. Defining policy or supporting its implementation with the Delphi method

Most health guidelines are developed using a consensus method and the Delphi method is often the approach taken by medical and health policy bodies. We will often work with groups who are looking to inform on what good policy could or should look like and help produce Delphi studies that advocates for new or updated policy changes. These outputs are often designed to seek further advocacy and alignment, creating a powerful stimulus for policymakers across any geographical span (international, national or local).

View a case study that helped define a more effective pathway for respiratory patients.


What is the key to a successful Delphi Consensus?


A Delphi method requires diligent focus on a structured protocol, great collaboration across stakeholders, excellent data analysis, synthesis, and technical writing skills. Timeframes can vary, depending on the study requirements but usually, with good planning outputs can be ready for publication submission within 7-8 months.


Discover How Triducive Can Help

Triducive are leaders in healthcare for generating real-world evidence through Delphi Consensus. Our team, combining healthcare experts and scientific writers are able to help you at any stage of your evidence generation process. Contact us for more information about Delphi studies.


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