Most of the people think Internet technologies are making their lives easier and introducing new services for engaging people in medical research studies. But, according to a new study, relying on the Internet to participate in any study project is not likely to work.
The study’s lead author told a news agency it’s important to get all groups of people represented in medical research because the results of a study are the basics of the medical recommendations.
According to Dr. Sarah Hartz of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, most of the medical recommendations are based on the educated white people, and not on the full range of the American population.
She pointed out that individuals who participate in medical research studies need to check in with researchers during the survey. She recommended Internet technologies like smartphones, which may make it easier for people to join those projects.
To check the power of Internet-based technologies for engaging the participants from diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds, researchers recruited 967 people and offered them information about their ancestry from genetic testing. Overall, 64 percent of the people agreed that they would like to know about their ancestry information. But only 16 percent accessed the information after receiving a couple of emails, a phone call, and a letter.
Underserved population engagement in medical research was little
The population from poor backgrounds or with less education did not check their emails or phone calls. It shows that the Internet-based technologies are not very useful for all the people. Most of the people who accessed the information were from wealthy families with the education of the high school. These were the people who use smartphones and computers on a daily basis for study purposes.
According to the study, most of the people do not even check their emails on a regular basis. Some people have email accounts but never logged in to read any mail. They created the email accounts just for using them on social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter etc. Hartz says that the next step in the research is to identify the inequalities among people and find how to fix those gaps.