Inequality makes it impossible for many people to access proper healthcare. COVID-19 has shown just how great a disparity we face with world health and brought to light new solutions to make healthcare possible for more people.
PRA works to create the most effective solutions, especially when collaborating across borders. We expand our reach and partner with global facilities, allowing us to conduct more in-depth research that accounts for more variables and improves patients’ lives.
On World Health Day, April 7, we address what causes these inequities and how we can combat them. Many factors contribute to creating a healthier world and ensuring we include everyone instead of a single privileged group. PRA uses technological advances, patient-centric approaches, and conscious methods to bring health solutions to people no matter where they live.
What Do We Need for a Fairer, Healthier World?
World Health Day encourages organizations in the healthcare industry to create patient-centric solutions that collect the accurate data we need through studies and clinical trials. PRA’s Mobile Health Platform (MHP) and other remote patient technologies make it more convenient for patients to participate in these trials. They also make it easier for us to ensure that the data we collect is more robust, providing a fuller picture of patients’ journeys.Learn more about our Mobile Health Platform
PRA works to create the most effective solutions for patients, especially when collaborating across borders. Operating within one geographic area limits population size and participation. Expanding our reach and partnering with more facilities, whether that means connecting with labs or trial sites, allows us to conduct more diverse research that accounts for a broader range of data and, ultimately, improves patients’ lives.
COVID-19 saw more collaboration worldwide than ever before. Sharing data, resources, and solutions makes it possible to transform that information into an actionable solution. We helped develop vaccinations in record time, largely because of this cooperation. Working together benefits more people across the world because everyone works toward a common goal. The COVID-19 vaccine development process focused on reaching a joint solution rather than competing to be the first to find one.
COVID-19 also pushed for rapid innovation. Sponsors adopted more remote technology when trials and studies could not be conducted in person. During this time, we’ve also seen the creation and improvement of apps, machine learning, remote heart monitoring, and artificial intelligence (AI), including this one used to recognize a COVID cough. These technologies have allowed us to connect with patients in ways we couldn’t before the pandemic and they continue to help us move forward with patient care and health solutions in other areas.
Tying each of these points together is diversity. When minority groups such as African Americans and Latinos don’t have representation in research, the data about a medical product, device or therapy may be incomplete. This leads to insufficient understanding of how certain indications, treatments, and therapies may impact different people and, potentially, insufficient care.
Diversity in Studies and Clinical Trials
Diversity encompasses every area of the pharmaceutical industry. People in developed countries often have more access to healthcare resources. Meanwhile, research shows that minority groups have a disadvantage when it comes to accessing healthcare due to systemic racism, poverty, and other social factors.
According to Juliane Mills, Director of Therapeutic Expertise, "Everyone deserves safe, effective healthcare. To get that, patients may need an ally and support in advocating for their interests, and that's what we do. It's easy to think that the work ends when we find one treatment, one solution, but the reality is that most of the time, one thing doesn't work for everyone."Learn more about bridging the diversity gap with decentralized clinical trials.
Everyone deserves safe, effective healthcare. To get that, they need someone to advocate for them, and that's what we do. It's easy to think that the work ends when we find one treatment, one cure, one solution, but the reality is that most of the time, one thing doesn't work for everyone.
Juliane Mills, Director of Therapeutic Expertise
People of different backgrounds located in different areas of the world can bring different results when it comes to diseases. We need to include these diverse patients in our studies if we want to create the most effective solutions. Basing treatment on a narrow sample can cause a safety issue because factors like race, ethnicity, genetics, and lifestyle can contribute to how a disease affects a person and consequently how well a treatment works.
PRA works with partners globally to conduct studies and clinical trials. We innovate and work inter-departmentally within PRA to create technology that best serves everyone. We have partners in many countries, increasing our ability to reach and access more data and make a significant impact on global communities.
Our HI*PRA values guide us toward creating a workplace culture that represents everyone. We use the following five core values in our work:
These values allow us to combine versatile skills that a narrow focus would not allow us to utilize. Using these skills lets us consciously create diversity in our industry and better collaborate with others to understand the needs of patients all over the world.
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