The WEF report said insufficient genomic data policies expose countries and communities to the risk that certain actors will extract genetic and biologic information from their population and use it for their own benefit
Longstanding gaps in population understanding, inclusion in research and access to targeted care have caused healthcare disparities experienced among ethnic population, said World Economic Forum (WEF).
According to the WEF, the Covid-19 pandemic has provided another painful example of these disparities.
"As the industry moves towards more precise disease screenings, diagnostics and treatments thanks to genomic research, these disparities will grow. Analysis found 78 percent of people in genome-wide association studies are of European descent," said a report of the organisation.
Additionally, researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital found data from the UK Biobank had a 4.5 times higher prediction accuracy for people of European ancestry than those of African ancestry, and two times higher accuracy than those of East Asian ancestry.
Elissa Prichep, project lead, World Economic Forum, said, "The lack of diversity in research studies is leading to blind spots. Translated to the clinic, this means non-white minority populations may receive less accurate preventative screenings, less reliable diagnostics, less targeted treatments."
The WEF has been working on a framework and collaborated with more than 30 global leaders to support policy-makers, scientists, research participants and others in developing approaches that will lead to more inclusive genomic research.
The WEF report said insufficient genomic data policies expose countries and communities to the risk that certain actors will extract genetic and biologic information from their population and use it for their own benefit.