iPLATO is expanding high-impact multichannel patient engagement around the research programme Our Future Health in nine NHS regions.

Residents in one of the nine NHS regions – including Greater Manchester, Birmingham and Solihull, London, Black Country, West Yorkshire and Leeds – will be offered the opportunity to join the ground-breaking largest research programme in the UK through the myGP app.

If their practice consents to participate, patients will also receive notifications via SMS message or messaging through the NHS App. The combined approach provides multichannel coverage to a large portion of the population, supporting the recruitment of those with less access to healthcare.

The aim is to recruit up to one-in-ten adults who truly represent the UK population by 2025, with a critical focus on representative diversity among the programme’s participants. This will create an unprecedented picture of people’s health and can help make discoveries that benefit everyone.

Tobias Alpsten, CEO and founder of iPLATO, said: “Ensuring patients of all socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds are accessed and invited to partake in the UK’s largest research programme is truly ground-breaking.

“Our ongoing work with Integrated Care Boards and our GP relationships around the country means we are supporting the programme to grow strong representative volunteer recruitment numbers.”

The Our Future Health programme reached the milestone of recruiting its first 100,000 volunteers in December.

In order to support its goal of recruiting five million people to the research programme, iPLATO recently expanded the initial national roll-out, to include Manchester, London, Birmingham and Leeds.

As part of the registration process, volunteers are required to visit a clinic conveniently located nearby them. Mobile clinics are regularly moving around the UK to ensure accessibility for all participants irrespective of location.

High street chain Boots, who is making a highly unusual move into the digital health market and will appear at Digital Health Rewired this year for the first time, are providing pop-up clinics in some of its stores across the country.

Our Future Health volunteer, Maneesh Juneja, said: “Someone like me, who is of Indian ethnic origin but born here in the UK, is most likely underrepresented in clinical trials or health research.

“A lot of drugs and healthcare have been developed based on the majority of the population, who are Caucasian. Taking part in Our Future Health feels like something I can do as an individual citizen to change that.

“Hopefully the insights that Our Future Health provide will give us the ability to create treatments that work better for everybody, because we will have a much broader, diverse population that’s being studied compared to much of the research that’s been done so far.”

iPLATO, part of the Huma group following its acquisition at the beginning of 2022, will now be seeking consent from practices to invite their patients to volunteer in the programme.