Diversity in clinical trials is a vital scientific and moral issue which the healthcare industry cannot ignore any longer. The historic under-representation of racial and ethnic minorities in clinical research is one of the biggest contributing factors to health inequality.
Multiple studies have found people from specific demographics respond to treatments differently, with some minority populations even facing worse health outcomes from certain diagnoses.
As medical technology continues to advance, we have a greater opportunity than ever to address barriers to clinical trial awareness, enrolment, engagement and retention. However – we must work together as a professional community to ensure MedTech advancements include underrepresented patient populations and don’t exclude them further.
mdgroup COO LaQuinta Jernigan has been a tireless advocate for clinical trial diversity from the beginning of her career. Now, LaQuinta is delighted to have joined the MedTech Color Collaborative Community on Diversity and Inclusion in Medical Device Product Development and Clinical Research.
What is the MedTech Color Collaborative Community?
Medtech Color Collaborative Community is a forum in which medical technology professionals and other stakeholders can work together to address minority health issues in medical device product development and clinical research.
As a Collaborative Community, members work together on strategies, resources, best practices and thought leadership to increase awareness of and address key challenges to diversity and inclusion in healthcare, such as:
- Unconscious bias in the healthcare system
- Social determinants of health leading to inequality
- Lack of inclusion or consideration of racial and ethnic minorities in critical aspects of the product development lifecycle
Who is the community for?
Together health care providers (HCPs), academic institutions, patient advocates, private companies and non-profits with the MedTech Color Collaborative Community are working to advance solutions in multiple areas including:
- Disease state awareness
- Patient recruitment and retention
- Product development and clinical research
- Evidence development
The community is open to anyone working in medical technology, clinical research or healthcare – including representatives from the FDA and other government entities and the media.
Who’s behind the community?
The Collaborative Community is led by MedTech Color, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, whose mission focuses on the advancement of persons of color in the medical device industry.
Listen to founding members Nada and Vanessa discuss how they’re tackling the exclusion of marginalized communities in MedTech testing, development, and leadership.
Why do communities like this matter?
Through events, meetings and other proactive efforts, the MedTech Color Collaborative Community works with industry professionals and engages patients from minority groups.
Working directly with patients in this way is crucial for creating meaningful, beneficial and long-lasting change, otherwise, how else can we ensure the medical technologies we are developing will truly meet their needs?
LaQuinta says: “Ethically, it is our duty as an industry to work to remove disparities in access to healthcare and clinical trial participation – and MedTech plays a key role in that.
“As technology advances, we must ensure it is accessible for every patient and work to ensure every community has access to the same high quality of healthcare. To achieve true health equity, we have to make sure nobody is left out.”
“By joining the MedTech Color Collaborative Community, I can make my voice heard and be part of campaigning for positive change. Together, we are always stronger and louder.”Find out more about the MedTech Color Collaborative Community and how you or your organization can get involved at medtechcolor.org.