Azurite Health's Plazebo Newsletter

Innovation and Future Developments in Healthcare and Research 

Addressing the Global Cancer Burden Through Inclusive Clinical Trials

The latest reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) present a concerning picture of the global cancer landscape. With an estimated 20 million new cases and 9.7 million deaths in 2022, the global cancer burden underscores a pressing need for comprehensive cancer care and innovative treatment solutions. This rising incidence is attributed to various factors, including population aging, lifestyle changes, and exposure to risk factors, highlighting the urgent need for effective global health strategies and policies to mitigate this trend.


Amidst this growing burden, the disparities in cancer care across different populations are stark. Underserved communities bear a disproportionate share of the cancer burden, facing significant challenges in accessing essential services and treatments. This inequity in healthcare provision underscores the critical need for integrating cancer care into universal health coverage frameworks, ensuring that all individuals, regardless of their socioeconomic status or geographical location, have access to the care they need.


Parallel to addressing the direct impacts of the global cancer burden, there is a crucial emphasis on the role of diversity and inclusion in clinical trials. Recognizing the historical underrepresentation of certain racial and ethnic groups in biomedical research, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken significant steps to mandate and encourage diversity in clinical trials. This initiative is part of a broader effort to ensure that clinical research reflects the demographics of those affected by the diseases under investigation, thereby improving the relevance and applicability of research outcomes to diverse populations.


The FDA’s commitment to this cause is evident in its issuance of new draft guidance aimed at increasing the participation of underrepresented racial and ethnic populations in clinical trials. This guidance is a crucial step towards developing more inclusive research practices and ensuring that the benefits of medical advancements are equitably distributed. By addressing barriers to participation and implementing strategies to enhance inclusivity, the FDA aims to foster a clinical research environment that truly reflects the diversity of the population it serves.


Supporting these efforts, the FDA’s Diversity in Clinical Trials Initiative focuses on overcoming the obstacles that prevent diverse groups from participating in clinical research. Through a combination of culturally and linguistically tailored strategies, educational materials, and targeted outreach efforts, this initiative seeks to broaden participation and engagement in clinical trials. Such efforts are essential for advancing our understanding of how different populations respond to treatments, ultimately leading to more effective and personalized healthcare solutions.


In conclusion, the increasing global cancer burden and the imperative for diversity in clinical trials highlight the complex challenges and opportunities in the field of healthcare. By prioritizing equity and inclusion in both cancer care provision and clinical research, we can make significant strides towards mitigating the impact of cancer worldwide and ensuring that all individuals have access to the advancements in treatment that they desperately need.


February 2024 




      1.    World Health Organization (WHO) report on global cancer burden: “Global cancer burden growing, amidst mounting need for services” Global cancer burden growing, amidst mounting need for services (

      2.    The FDA Initiative to Assure Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Clinical Trials | American Board of Family Medicine (

      3.    FDA guidance on enhancing diversity in clinical trials: “FDA Offers Guidance to Enhance Diversity in Clinical Trials, Encourage Inclusivity in Medical Product Development” FDA Offers Guidance to Enhance Diversity in Clinical Trials, Encourage Inclusivity in Medical Product Development | FDA

      4.    Nature’s discussion on FDA’s diversity plan requirement: “FDA to require diversity plan for clinical trials” FDA to require diversity plan for clinical trials (



L. Graham BSc. Hons., MSc.

Head of Operations; Azurite Healh

Bridging the Gap: The Critical Role of Patient Education and Communication in Healthcare

Sofia Fazal BSc Hons

Optometry Director; Board Director (Non- Exec) on LOCSU; Wolverhampton LOC Chair

"Too often, the technology drives the system. Time is limited. Taking a few minutes to listen to patients' concerns, questions, needs, and goals may be neither encouraged nor rewarded"1


The above extract comes from a focus group research investigation into the importance of listening and communicating with patients in ensuring greater patient care and enhancement of outcomes in healthcare.1

Educating patients with accurate and understandable information enables them to take greater control through lifestyle changes to improve their health and any existing or potential conditions they may be at risk of. 2,3

It has been found that this can reduce readmission rates and unplanned visits to secondary services while providing safer care and improving patient satisfaction.4,5 Patient education has become essential in healthcare for ensuring better patient outcomes and chances of recovery or better management of conditions.6

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) has been on the decline, and there have been better outcomes of patient self-management over the past couple of decades. Statisticians report great success in reducing the incidence and prevention of CVD. Between 1990 and 2013, over 50% of deaths caused by CVD were reduced.7 Implementing education initiatives with patients to prevent and manage diseases has proven successful.8 


So, with education vital for patient outcomes, how well do practitioners really do this? There are differing perceptions between practitioners and patients regarding their understanding of their health condition and its management. For example, extensive research conducted in the United States found that practitioners believed that 95% of patients understood the information they had been given. In contrast, when questioned regarding this information, only 57% of patients understood this information. There is a significant disparity between what is perceived to be shared and understood and what is retained by the patient.8,9,10

Are patients retaining and understanding the information they are shared? In a study carried out in Scotland for contact lens hygiene a similar result was found. Patients were still sleeping, swimming and showering in their lenses following advice. Only 1/33 of the optometrists’ continued to educate their patient after the initial information was given.

Is there scope for enhancing patient outcomes through regular education of patients throughout the healthcare services? Regardless of whether care is provided in primary, secondary or even through the private sector, practitioners need to establish greater communication for overall success of patient care and experience.

With growing populations and greater advances in technology, practitioners are able to enhance treatment processes, however are we losing those important steps of embedding patient engagement for the most effective outcomes and use of resources.

July 2023


  1. Gerteis M, Edgman-Levitan S, Daley J, Delbanco TL. Though the patient’s eyes: Understanding and promoting patient-centred care. 1993 
  2. Edwards, M., Wood, F., Davies, M. and Edwards, A., 2012. The development of health literacy in patients with a long-term health condition: the health literacy pathway model. BMC public health12(1), pp.1-15.
  3. Little, P., Dorward, M., Warner, G., Moore, M., Stephens, K., Senior, J. and Kendrick, T., 2004. Randomised controlled trial of effect of leaflets to empower patients in consultations in primary care. bmj328(7437), p.441.
  4. Krumholz, H.M., Amatruda, J., Smith, G.L., Mattera, J.A., Roumanis, S.A., Radford, M.J., Crombie, P. and Vaccarino, V., 2002. Randomized trial of an education and support intervention to prevent readmission of patients with heart failure. Journal of the American College of Cardiology39(1), pp.83-89.
  5. Paul, S., 2008. Hospital discharge education for patients with heart failure: what really works and what is the evidence?. Critical care nurse28(2), pp.66-82.
  6. Adams, R.J., 2010. Improving health outcomes with better patient understanding and education. Risk management and healthcare policy, pp.61-72.
  7. Newton, J.N., Briggs, A.D., Murray, C.J., Dicker, D., Foreman, K.J., Wang, H., Naghavi, M., Forouzanfar, M.H., Ohno, S.L., Barber, R.M. and Vos, T., 2015. Changes in health in England, with analysis by English regions and areas of deprivation, 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. The Lancet386(10010), pp.2257-2274.
  8. Al-Sutari, M.M. and Ahmad, M.M., 2017. Effect of educational program on self-care behaviors and health outcome among patients with heart failure: an experimental study. International journal of evidence-based healthcare15(4), pp.178-185. 
  9. Horwitz, L.I., Moriarty, J.P., Chen, C., Fogerty, R.L., Brewster, U.C., Kanade, S., Ziaeian, B., Jenq, G.Y. and Krumholz, H.M., 2013. Quality of discharge practices and patient understanding at an academic medical center. JAMA internal medicine173(18), pp.1715-1722
  10. Lee, R.G. and Garvin, T., 2003. Moving from information transfer to information exchange in health and health care. Social science & medicine56(3), pp.449-464

Revolutionizing Healthcare

Putting Patients at the Center: AI Streamlining Pharmaceutical Research and Empowering Patients

In the dynamic landscape of healthcare, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is emerging as a powerful tool that not only streamlines the pharmaceutical research process but also empowers patients. By placing patients at the center, AI-driven solutions are revolutionizing the way medications are discovered, developed, and delivered.


AI is enhancing patient-centricity by optimizing clinical trials. Through AI-powered algorithms, patient recruitment and selection processes are more precise, ensuring that individuals with specific characteristics and needs can participate in trials that are best suited for them. This personalized approach improves patient experiences and outcomes, while accelerating the development of new treatments.


Moreover, AI supports patients by enabling real-time monitoring and remote care. Wearable devices and smart sensors collect valuable health data, which AI algorithms analyze to provide timely insights and personalized interventions. Patients can actively participate in their own care, receive tailored treatment plans, and enjoy greater convenience through remote consultations and virtual healthcare solutions.


AI also has a significant impact on medication safety and adherence. Intelligent systems can flag potential drug interactions, allergies, and adverse reactions, alerting healthcare providers and patients in real-time. Furthermore, AI-powered medication management tools help patients stay on track with their prescriptions, reminding them to take medications and refilling them when needed.


Additionally, AI enhances the efficiency and accuracy of pharmaceutical research. It can analyze vast amounts of data from diverse sources, such as electronic health records, genetic profiles, and scientific literature, enabling researchers to make data-driven decisions and identify patterns that were previously elusive. This accelerated research process holds the promise of delivering innovative therapies to patients faster.


By harnessing the power of AI, the pharmaceutical industry is transforming into a patient-centric ecosystem. AI not only streamlines research processes but also empowers patients by personalizing care, improving safety, and facilitating remote access to healthcare services. As AI continues to advance, patients can look forward to a future where their needs and experiences are at the forefront of pharmaceutical innovation, ultimately leading to improved health outcomes for all.

June 2023

Technology Discoveries Making a Difference Today


Healthcare is changing faster than ever, and it's thanks to some amazing new technology discoveries. The future of healthcare is looking brighter, with advancements in diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and overall patient experience. Let's take a closer look at some of these new developments.


One of the most promising trends in healthcare is artificial intelligence, or AI for short. AI can analyze complex medical data and detect patterns that might be missed by human doctors, which could lead to more accurate diagnoses and better treatment plans. Plus, AI is already being used to help patients manage chronic conditions, like diabetes, and to improve surgical procedures.


Another trend that's gaining popularity is telemedicine, which is essentially healthcare from afar. Patients can receive consultations from medical professionals remotely, which can be especially helpful for people who live in rural or remote areas. Wearable devices, like fitness trackers, also fall into this category, as they allow patients to monitor their health on a daily basis and alert doctors to any concerning changes.


Blockchain is another innovation that could revolutionize healthcare, as it has the potential to improve the security and efficiency of medical data management. Bioprinting and nanomedicine are also exciting developments that could lead to the production of customized implants and drug delivery.


Gene therapy and personalized medicine are two more promising technologies that could change the way we treat genetic diseases. With gene therapy, doctors can manipulate DNA to treat and potentially cure genetic conditions. And personalized medicine, as the name suggests, involves tailoring treatment plans to an individual patient's needs and genetic makeup.


Finally, virtual reality (VR) is showing great promise in reducing pain and anxiety in patients and facilitating medical training. By using VR, patients can experience procedures and surgeries virtually, which could help them better understand what's happening and reduce their fear and anxiety.


All of these technological developments have the potential to make healthcare more efficient, cost-effective, and patient-centered. By embracing these new technologies, healthcare professionals can provide more accurate diagnoses, faster treatment, and better outcomes for patients. It's an exciting time for healthcare, and we can't wait to see what the future holds!




© Copyright. All rights reserved.

We need your consent to load the translations

We use a third-party service to translate the website content that may collect data about your activity. Please review the details in the privacy policy and accept the service to view the translations.