Vibrent’s Digital Health Solutions Platform to play major role in COVID-19 research through privacy-protecting data collection encompassing physical health, mental well-being, social and economic impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on society
Fairfax, Virginia, — January 5, 2021 — Vibrent Health, a health technology company powering the future of precision health research, in partnership with the Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) -Sentara Healthcare Analytics and Delivery Science Institute (HADSI) and George Mason University (GMU), announced today the formation of an academic-industry partnership that will launch a national study, COVIDsmart, examining the longterm impacts of COVID-19 on individuals and their communities. The digital study, which will begin recruiting participants this month, seeks to help researchers and public health policy makers to collect broad longitudinal data sets to better understand current and future effects of the pandemic on individuals, their families and communities. The study aims to enroll volunteers from all walks of life across America.
“The need for more research on how COVID-19 is affecting us all is urgent, and we are fortunate to have the means to gather crucial data for COVIDsmart virtually using technology, so that anyone and everyone can participate in this invaluable health study, without having to leave their homes,” said Praduman “PJ” Jain, CEO of Vibrent Health, and co-principal investigator of the COVIDsmart study.
This research study differs from other COVID-19 studies because it includes a focus on diverse populations that are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, provides public health policy makers with the ability for data-driven decision making and new protocols for future health crises, considers current and long-term effects of COVID-19 through longitudinal data collection, and enables study teams and researchers to adjust research strategies and tactics as needed for high impact.
The study also aims to give back aggregate de-identified study data to participants so they can see how their community has been impacted by the pandemic and provide resources and information to participants to help them understand impacts of the pandemic and inform themselves and their communities. The longitudinal study will follow participants to gather information about their experiences through the course of the pandemic.
The study seeks to recruit a diverse cohort of ethnic, racial and cultural minorities to reflect the U.S. population’s diversity and to include groups that have historically been underrepresented in biomedical research.
“Diversity is essential to the relevance and validity of health research, and our goal is to recruit a diverse cohort to provide comprehensive data about how COVID-19 impacts people of all walks of life,” said Sunita Dodani, MBBS, PhD, professor of internal medicine at EVMS, director of HADSI and the lead principal investigator of COVIDsmart study.
Dodani, whose experience in public health and COVID-19 includes service on the Federation of American Scientists’ COVID-19 Rapid Response Task Force, provides oversight of the study’s survey methodology and content, developed by HADSI and Mason researchers.
George Mason University and HADSI will work together to recruit diverse participants. Efforts include community outreach and social media campaigns.
“The level of commitment and expertise that the partner organizations bring to COVIDsmart is a model of academic-industry collaboration in the interest of advancing science and health,” said Amira Roess, an epidemiologist and professor in the Department of Global and Community Health at Mason.
Vibrent Health will contribute its Digital Health Solutions Platform to COVIDsmart. Vibrent’s platform is used by National Institutes of Health as the consumer-facing technology foundation for the All of Us Research Program, one of history’s largest longitudinal research programs, with an aim of partnering with one million or more diverse people living in the United States.
Vibrent’s privacy protecting digital research platform collects data from broad sources, including environmental data, electronic health records, genomics, wearables and body sensors.
The study will help researchers understand how individuals and communities have been impacted emotionally, socially, economically, and other ways. The anonymized results of the research will be made available to researchers and public health policy officials to guide them in identifying at-risk communities that are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. These insights can help direct resources and services where they are most needed during the coronavirus pandemic and any future health crisis.
“In order to encourage participation and maintain the interest of the enrollees, we designed the user experience of the study to be engaging,” said Jain. “Our goal is to keep participants invested and active in this research, so they can help their communities while they also derive the benefit of knowledge about COVID-19 that can help them cope with the pandemic, until we can all return to a semblance of normalcy.”
About Vibrent Health
Vibrent Health’s mission is to accelerate health research to optimize human health through precision technology and digital tools that empower participant engagement, research analytics and research management for researchers, research organizations and research participants. Through its Digital Health Solutions Platform, the company provides a large-scale versatile global platform for health research. The platform provides an infrastructure for data collection from broad sources including genomics, environment, lifestyle, behaviors and electronic health records. Since February 2017 Vibrent Health has served as the Participant Technology Systems Center for the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program, which aims to collect health data from one million or more people to support a wide variety of research studies. To learn more, visit vibrenthealth.com.
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