Reify Health, a company that offers cloud-based solutions for clinical trial professionals, has launched its StudyTeam Diversity reporting, a new feature to its trial platform geared toward helping trial teams understand whether or not they are effectively reaching and engaging patients hailing from historically underrepresented minority communities. The report, which is available through the company's StudyTeam platform, offers a glimpse into the demographics of patient participants as a study kicks off and proceeds with enrollment, offering guidance on how to take measures to improve diversity in their studies.
Traditionally, clinical trial professionals struggle with engaging a number of minority communities and patients in their studies, with some populations more underrepresented than others. In order to generate sufficiently representative data, researchers strive to recruit patient pools that adequately reflect the diverse group of people likely to benefit from the resulting treatment, so that they can properly test the safety and efficacy of the drug at hand.
“Improving diversity in clinical trials isn’t a 2021 issue; it’s a 2020s issue,” said Ralph Passarella, CEO and co-founder of Reify Health. “We are taking a long-term view that starts with developing a quantitative understanding of where and why our industry is failing to engage certain communities—that knowledge can inform how we, as an industry, act to make clinical trials more representative of the patient populations we strive to help.”
Increasingly, stakeholders all along the drug development pipeline are calling for better diversity and inclusivity in research, but despite their best efforts, sponsors have been limited in their ability to understand how a trial’s inclusion and exclusion criteria and protocol design impact people from different demographics through stages in the recruitment process. According to the company, the StudyTeam Diversity report seeks to answer questions about the factors contributing to lack of sufficient representation.
“The StudyTeam Diversity Report is one step of many steps Reify is taking to contribute to the work of increasing diversity and improving representation in clinical trials,” Passarella said. “We look forward to ongoing collaboration with our site and sponsor partners on this important effort until we, as an industry, are consistently enrolling trials that represent the patients we all serve.”
StudyTeam Diversity Reporting is designed to empower sites and sponsors to understand where current clinical trial enrollment strategies are failing to guide actions, both at the level of an individual trial and across the entire industry. The questions the technology reportedly can answer includes as whether enough minority patients are being identified as candidates if sites are effectively able to connect with and pre-screen candidates equally across minority groups; if certain minority groups experience a higher rate of attrition when moving through enrollment; and what areas could benefit from investment in more recruitment resources.