April 7 is World Health Day, and the World Health Organization is urging world leaders to monitor health inequities and ensure that all people are able to access quality health services when and where they need them.
Health inequity is driven by social determinants, economics, and access, to name just a few factors in a complex global situation. These issues were thrown into sharp relief amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and continue to affect the distribution of care, treatment, and now vaccines. As these challenges persist, it’s no surprise that life science organizations are turning to patient-centricity and gathering diverse insights to drive solutions.
Even before the pandemic, the adoption of virtual collaboration was growing because of its ability to include more global voices. Adding diverse perspectives to every step in the life science journey – from the development of new molecules and devices to clinical trials, launches, and patient education and feedback – only serves to help create a fairer, healthier world.
When FYMCA Ltd, a UK-based organization that develops rare disease education and services for the developing world, used the Within3 asynchronous platform to convene a rare disease task force across two dozen countries in Africa, they were able to overcome time zone and language difference, schedule challenges, and potential network connectivity to gather insights from HCPs and patient advocates. As a result, rare disease patients in Africa are moving closer to the information and access they need.
Engaging thousands of stakeholders spread across multiple time zones and languages worldwide means that the old way of hosting conversations reinforces some of the barriers to healthcare equity. While our ability to connect in person remains limited for now, we’ll continue to work with life science organizations to help them connect and collaborate on projects that contribute to better health for everyone.