Development and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine has highlighted the need for increased diversity in clinical trials. It is well documented that cases of COVID-19 are higher amongst Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority communities, yet they have been disproportionately involved in clinical trials for COVID-19 therapies and vaccines. Many have turned focus to the potential of virtual clinical trials as a means of increasing representation.
Virtual trials remove the need to travel long distances and take time off work, broadening the pool of potential participants to a wider array of socioeconomic statuses, health issues and family backgrounds. Pharma and healthcare stakeholders should keep their eyes on the transition to virtual and decentralized clinical trials as a means of leveraging technology to increase diversity and improve outcomes.