Increasing diversity in clinical research has consistently been a challenge. Despite increased public awareness of this issue and repeated efforts to remedy it, clinical trials still do not adequately represent the U.S. population.
Researchers recently performed a study in which they looked at the diversity data and recruitment methods of 100 NIH-funded cardiovascular trials posted on ClinicalTrials.gov between 2000 and 2019. The study, published in Journal of the American Heart Association, discovered that 46% of the trials enrolled less than 25% Black participants, despite Black patients being more vulnerable to heart disease.
Another recent study had similar results. Published in JAMA Network Open in February of 2021, this cross-sectional study evaluated 230 U.S.-based vaccine trials from July 2011 through June of 2020. It found out of the total trial participants, 10.6% were Black or African American, 0.4% were American Indian/Alaska Native, and 11.6% were Hispanic/Latino. These numbers, when compared to U.S. population data, showed these groups were dramatically underrepresented in these clinical trials.
These studies paint a very clear picture: the current clinical research system is sure to fail underrepresented patients. Different populations respond differently to treatments. Researchers can’t know a treatment will properly and safely serve the population if it’s not an adequate representation of the population tested on.
Increased Clinical Trial Access for Underrepresented Groups
Clinical research is clearly continuing to struggle with diversity in clinical trials but increasing a diverse population’s access to clinical research is one viable solution. Electronic health record (EHR) data provides the unique ability to match specific, diverse patients to the appropriate clinical trial. Only Elligo Health Research® has the largest known diverse patient network, offering direct access to more than 150 million diverse, known patients through HIPAA-compliant identified EHR data.
Elligo’s EHR data allows researchers and physicians to identify diverse patients for clinical trials, which accelerates the enrollment process and removes the access and diversity challenges that come with traditional enrollment methods.
The result? Clinical trials are more representative of the U.S. population.
The diversity Elligo’s patient network enables isn’t a far-off dream: it’s already happening. According to a study published in PLoS Med, historically, Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino research participation totaled just 10%. With Elligo, trials are over 30% more diverse through healthcare.
The Future of Diverse Clinical Research
By partnering with Elligo, clients gain access to known patients so they can identify diverse patients for their study, shorten study startup, accelerating their processes, and deliver faster treatments for the patients who need them.
Contact Elligo today to learn how our access to patients can make clinical research more diverse and accessible.