Duke’s Big Ideas Lab and Evidation aim to find ways to increase representation of underserved populations in digital health studies
January 17th, 2023 – Duke University’s BIG IDEAs Lab and Evidation, the company that connects directly with individuals to measure and improve health in everyday life, announced today that they have established a partnership with the goal of increasing diversity and representation in digital health studies.
Evidation and Duke will seek to advance digital health research by building an analytic structure to better predict study participation, adherence, and retention across racial and demographic lines. This statistical framework will be available to other digital health researchers to boost participation from underrepresented groups in further studies.
“Inclusion of underserved and underrepresented populations in research and study adherence among all groups are key challenges for enabling patient-centered healthcare. Evidation has deep experience using advanced statistics and machine learning methodologies to rapidly connect with and understand diverse groups of individuals,” said Iredia M. Olaye, PhD, MSc, MHA, of Covered By Group, and Evidation, who led project creation and development. “Together, our work will equip researchers and providers with insights for more rigorous study design. If we can enable more equitable research, we can achieve more equitable care.”
Research shows that racial and ethnic minorities are both historically and currently underrepresented in clinical trials. As of 2011, African Americans and Hispanics combined to make up 28 percent of the U.S. population, but only six percent of trial participants. Digital health solutions can only help close this gap with a clear understanding of how to reach and engage underserved populations.
“As digital health research grows and evolves, we need to ensure that research populations are truly representative so that the technologies benefit everyone,” said Jessilyn Dunn, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University. “With our combined expertise, we aim to overcome some of the most persistent challenges in diversity and representation in digital health research.”
“Evidation and Duke align on a shared vision of a healthcare ecosystem that is proactive, preventative, and that works for everyone; both organizations believe that consumer technology holds a key for making this a reality,” said Deborah Kilpatrick, PhD, co-CEO at Evidation. “Removing hurdles to broad representation and participation in this ecosystem is absolutely essential to realizing this future.”
Evidation creates new ways to measure and improve health in everyday life. Built upon a foundation of user privacy and control over permissioned health data, Evidation's consumer platform is trusted by millions of individuals—generating data with unprecedented speed, scale, and rigor. We partner with leading healthcare organizations to understand health and disease outside the clinic walls. Evidation is working to bring people individualized, proactive, and accessible healthcare—faster. Founded in 2012, Evidation is headquartered in California with employees working around the globe. To learn more, visit evidation.com, or follow us on Twitter @evidation.
About the Duke BIG IDEAs Lab
The BIG IDEAs Lab develops tools and infrastructure using biomedical and health data for early detection, intervention, and prevention of disease. Ongoing projects include improving health monitoring through personalized, real-time risk classification and tailored, remote intervention strategies. As a result of our work, we are arming healthcare professionals with tools and information to detect illness and intervene early and to deliver the right treatment at the right time to the right person. We are also empowering individuals to take agency over their own health with technology-based assistance and support.
Rachel Katz for Evidation
Michaela Kane for Duke