The HealthProof Revolution: Can CSR Spark a Movement in Trial Participation and Save the World?
The Cancer Moonshot. The Blue Button initiative. A fully mapped human genome. Today is an exhilarating time to be part of the medical community and we are hurling toward the future with exciting new technology, exponential amounts of data, and treatments we only dreamed of a decade ago. Yet on the cusp of these revolutionary health advances, we have yet to address the crisis that could place this progress at risk: the lack of research volunteers. With less than 5% of the population participating our advances are in jeopardy and the future for those with Alzheimer’s, Cancer, and hundreds of other diseases is unsure. Is it up to us as conscientious and passionate health advocates to turn this tide alone? What about those who don’t share our level of health literacy? Do we have time to wait for a global health crisis or pandemic to mobilize interest in research? How do we overcome the stigma associated with the storied history of ethical clinical trial conduct around the globe? What will it take to get the public to consider research participation as a care option and not just a last resort when facing a personal health crisis? With as much as 70% of healthcare spending attributed to behavioral and lifestyle choices and employers footing much of the bill are we overlooking a powerful ally? Where and how does corporate social responsibility come in to play when it comes to advancing new medicines? To date, corporate America has placed millions of dollars into social causes, but what about funding efforts that promote research volunteers? Can we secure the hearts and minds of patients by using the social issues they care about as a catalyst for change? Can we translate passion into purpose by sparking awareness of the connection between social issues and health issues? Now is the time to create a movement that shifts this topic from the margins to the masses. It is time for a movement that protects our opportunity for health advances yet to be discovered, for generations to come.