Improving health equity by diversifying medical research

By Regence
June 24, 2021
All of Us traffic boxes

People of color often face poorer health outcomes—but they have also historically been left out of clinical trials—leading to a lack of understanding about the effectiveness of treatments for different populations.

That's why Regence is partnering with the National Institutes of Health's All of Us Research Program to recruit 1 million health data donors in the U.S. to better diversify biomedical research.

According to U.S. Census data, those of Hispanic or Latino heritage represent almost one-fifth of the U.S. population yet only 1% of clinical trial participants. This is a concern because people of different ages, races and ethnicities may react differently to certain treatments or present symptoms of certain conditions differently than people of European descent.

To help raise awareness of the national research program and call for participants, the National Institutes of Health partnered with artists in Seattle to decorate eight traffic boxes that offer passers-by an augmented reality experience about the importance of inclusive health care. The boxes are strategically placed to attract participants from some of the most diverse communities in the country and are historically underrepresented. Check out KING 5’s video coverage here: Seattle artists decorate traffic boxes as part of National Institutes of Health project.

All of Us aims to gather data from 1 million or more people living in the U.S. from different races and ethnicities, age groups, geographic regions, gender identities, sexual orientations and health statuses. The program needs volunteers who reflect the diverse make-up of America to be truly effective.

To learn more about the research program and how Regence is helping to spread the word, read “Ambitious national health study invites participants to help advance medical breakthroughs.”