What is health research?
When you hear the term “health research”, you might picture scientists in a lab with fancy microscopes and equipment.
Maybe they’re looking at cells or organs or maybe they’re studying germs and anything else that could make us sick or lead to treatments that make us better.
In a lot of ways, you’d be right to picture these things.
Here in Canada, we do have brilliant researchers at universities and hospitals across the country studying...
- The bacteria that live in our guts,
- Cancer-killing viruses,
- Genes related to heart disease,
- The biochemistry of arthritis,
- And ways to keep our brains healthy as we age.
But your health can be affected by all kinds of different factors, so we need studies that cover all kinds of different angles.
These studies vary in size and can include clinical trials that evaluate new medicines or vaccines and others that test out new programs to help people recover faster from things like strokes, knee replacement surgery or injuries.
Our health care system itself also needs research to support it.
Studies that focus on the health services we use, need, and wait for can provide much-needed data about what’s working in our system—and what’s not.
This information can lead to better care—and it can also lead to innovative new types of care, such as mental health care models that reach people online – and are still as effective as in-person therapy.
But let’s not forget about how everyday life, work, and opportunities can shape your health, too.
Think about it: Do you have nutritious food? And live in stable housing?
Are you able to learn, play, or work safely?
It all adds up! These factors affect your health and can even have impacts on entire communities.
So we need to study where, how, and why they affect us to find the best ways for everyone to be as healthy as possible.
This — all of this — is health research.
And at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, we invest in the full range of health studies because we know that good health will always depend on great research.
Visit our health research page to learn more.
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