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PhRMA Foundation Awards 7 Researchers $25K Planning Grants to Develop Equity-Focused Research on Digital Health Tools

December 7, 2023

Seven researchers will develop research proposals to compete in 2024 for one of two $500,000 research grants.

The PhRMA Foundation awarded $25,000 planning grants to seven researchers to develop comprehensive research proposals examining the use of digital health technologies (DHTs) in populations underrepresented in clinical trials. These seven researchers will compete in 2024 to win one of two $500,000 research grants.

After assessing all submissions, the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee selected the following researchers to receive planning grants:

  • David Armstrong, MD, PhD, University of Southern California​
  • Andres Duarte-Rojo, MD, PhD, Northwestern Memorial Foundation​
  • Nino Isakadze, MD, Johns Hopkins University​
  • Leticia Moczygemba, PharmD, PhD, University of Texas at Austin​
  • Willi Tarver, DrPH, The Ohio State University​
  • Frank Tsai, MD, HonorHealth Research Institute​
  • Rachel Vitali, PhD, University of Iowa​

Our goal is to support research that can provide data to help answer questions around the use of digital health tools in diverse populations to better inform the Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory decision-making. If thoughtfully designed and implemented, digital health tools could play an important role in advancing equity in our health care system.

Amy M. Miller, PhD PhRMA Foundation President

The research proposals focus on topics such as:

  • Testing and validating wearable sensors to improve health outcomes for underrepresented groups such as people experiencing homelessness, rural patients, and Latinx Americans
  • Developing digital tools to improve use of patient-reported outcomes among Black patients with colorectal cancer and to improve atrial fibrillation (Afib) management in diverse populations
  • Using a virtual reality platform to improve digital communication and increase diversity, health literacy and participation in oncological clinical research

Planning grant award recipients will also be offered a $5,000 promotional credit from Amazon Web Services (AWS) toward institutional use of AWS services. AWS will also provide scientific and technical subject-matter expertise to support the development of a proof of concept and/or refinement of existing cloud architecture on AWS.