Clinical trials require human volunteers to assess medical products like devices, vaccines, or medications for efficacy and safety. For health equity to be achieved, it’s imperative that clinical trials include people from diverse backgrounds so as to represent the global population of patients using the products.
Unfortunately, clinical research does not always sufficiently include persons from ethnic and racial minority groups. This underrepresentation is alarming, as research shows variances in effectiveness. This article examines how digital capabilities, such as decentralized clinical trial (DCT) technology, can help to improve patient diversity in clinical trials.
In order for clinical research to benefit all people, clinical studies must have an accurate representation of participants who will be using the product. People of varying age, race, and ethnicity will have different reactions to the same product, and these reactions must be accounted for in order to improve outcomes for a diverse group of patients.
What these examples highlight is the continued lack of diversity in clinical trial participants. This underrepresentation was further demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has taken the clinical trial industry until now to address this systemic problem and lift barriers to participation.
A catalyst of recent initiatives around strengthening participant diversity is the Diverse and Equitable Participation in Clinical Trials (DEPICT) Act. This bill, meant to increase clinical trial diversity, was introduced in February of 2022. It requires greater demographic reporting, and provides underrepresented communities with resources that make clinical trial participation more accessible.
The advancement of decentralized clinical trials (DCTs) allows patients to participate without having to travel to a trial site, removing many barriers to entry that may have prevented people of diverse racial and ethnic groups from participating. Some of these advantageous DCT offerings include:
Recently, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) partnered with Medable, selecting their DCT platform due to its digital capabilities that support diversity and inclusion. With a track record of success, Medable is known for their flexibility to deploy modern, patient-centered clinical trials. This includes:
Increasing diversity in clinical trials is an industry need, and there’s no time to waste. Medable’s DCT platform provides advanced technology that makes virtual clinical trials possible, removing common barriers to entry for minority communities.
Contact Medable today to see how your next clinical trial will benefit from the participant diversity their DCT platform delivers.