IMHA Strategic research priorities

IMHA's overall vision is to lead research and knowledge translation in its six focus areas to improve the lives of Canadians. IMHA has selected two overarching themes that will help guide and inform the selected strategic priority areas and support the implementation of CIHR’s Vision for a Healthier Future

With the help of these overarching themes, IMHA’s strategic plan for 2021–2026 will focus on the following four strategic priority areas:

Alleviate the burden of pain

Research evidence holds the key to improving care, reducing the costs of chronic pain management and ameliorating health outcomes for Canadians. To support CIHR Strategic Plan priority E, Integrate Evidence in Health Decisions, CIHR-IMHA plans to alleviate the burden of pain by playing a leadership role alongside key government partners (e.g., Health Canada) and non-government stakeholders to help convene pain research experts. We will complement CIHR’s investment in pain via the Project Grant competition by investing strategically in relevant research networks, research leaders, and knowledge mobilization.

  • Catalyze pain research that addresses the priorities defined by the Canadian Pain Task Force
  • Characterize the burden of disease related to oral health of Canadians and provide an open science platform for investigators to better understand whether the standard of oral health is consistent across all Canadians

Mobilize digital health

To support CIHR Strategic Plan priority E, Integrate Evidence in Health Decisions, CIHR-IMHA plans to invest in digital health research that has the potential for immediate-to-medium term health impact (2–10 years). In particular, we will convene Canadian digital health researchers and facilitate their collaboration with leading actors in artificial intelligence/machine learning and data science.

  • Foster CIHR-IMHA-relevant research in digital health including: SMART devices, wearables, internet of things, remote patient monitoring, clinical application of machine learning, virtual appointments, and addressing the health needs of those who live in remote and rural areas

Nurture leaders

To support CIHR Strategic Plan priority B, Strengthen Canadian Health Research Capacity, CIHR-IMHA will work with partners to foster leadership that is equitable, diverse and inclusive and that supports Indigenous self-determination in research. CIHR-IMHA will nurture diverse leaders from the higher education sector, industry, Indigenous communities and organizations, patient communities and the non-profit/government sector by providing education, opportunity, and mentorship for emerging leaders.

  • Catalyze research networks/teams within the CIHR-IMHA research mandate areas
  • Invest in early-career, mid-career, and under-represented researchers including those who identify as Black or Indigenous
  • Authentically engage people with lived experience, carers and members of the public in CIHR-IMHA-related research

Scale up for impact

To support CIHR Strategic Plan priority E, Integrate Evidence in Health Decisions, CIHR-IMHA will invest strategically in implementation science research that will evaluate selected health services in the CIHR-IMHA mandate to better position them for scale up.

  • Strengthen Canada’s leadership in scaling successful health services within the CIHR-IMHA mandate
  • Bolster Canadian researchers’ ability to partner in evaluating scaled-up health services
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