When Facebook announced its name change to Meta in October 2021, the idea of a metaverse became a reality for millions of people who had never heard of the term before. Tech experts on the other hand were revelling in the growing interest in the virtual world. While Meta is just one way that a company is harnessing the metaverse for a social media reason there are many others that can see a future for life sciences online, utilizing this new power to improve outcomes. We took a look at how the metaverse could work to improve access to clinical trials and ensure a more diverse population takes part.
What is the Metaverse?
The term ‘metaverse’ is the future of the internet and the paradigm shift in the way we view the virtual and technological world. In reality, the metaverse is not one specific form of technology but focuses more on how we use technology within our daily lives. Companies are using AI, VR, and AR to develop what they offer, helping to reach more people and embed tech into everything we do. When you consider the impact this could have on clinical trials, the metaverse is pretty appealing!
How Can the Metaverse Improve Clinical Trial Access & Diversity
One of the biggest issues with clinical trials is getting people to agree to participate, especially from underrepresented groups of people. From lack of transport to a lack of trust, there are lots of reasons why someone would refuse to take part in a clinical trial but using the metaverse could make participation more appealing. Some of the ways it could help include:
- Giving people the chance to take part from their own homes
- Improving the digital patient journey
- Stopping people from having to travel regularly to meet the conditions of the trial
- Lack of trust in the people running the trials
- Fitting around a participant’s schedule to suit their availability
- Being able to reach a wider geographical area
- Ensuring better diversity to ensure health equity
It’s also important to consider the curiosity that surrounds using new technologies, with many people being keen to be part of something new and exciting, helping to innovate outcomes by simply changing the format of how trial information is collected.
Are We Moving Too Fast?
With anything new and innovative comes warnings and concerns that need to be addressed and properly considered. The life science industry is keen to support the development of clinical trials but many experts are warning that companies should take any digital steps carefully, giving enough time to analyze outcomes before moving ahead. Ultimately, these incremental steps have huge potential to change the way that health care works for patients and trial participants, making us all want to see them arrive sooner rather than later.
The Future of Clinical Trials
One thing is certain, to improve outcomes for people of all ages, races, and genders, it is vital that improved access and diversity in clinical trials must happen. When you combine the number of digital transformations that are working to improve clinical trials, there really is no excuse for poor representation anymore. At GeneCoda® we are fully invested in the life science industry and are here to support you to find great staff to organize and execute your clinical trials – connect with us to find out how we can help!