The Growing Need for Public Health Research

By | December 27, 2018

The world revolves around information, and with large quantities of health research and studies available at the touch of a button, there are more uses for it now than ever. Public health research can provide both the medical communities and general population with information on the benefits of preventative care, opportunities to improve medical research, and strategies to access care that can help communities develop effective public health plans. The benefits that come with public health research grow each day as technology allows medical scientists to find new ways to apply the research, which is why the need for continued studies only grows.

Public Health Research Benefits

There is no limit to what can be achieved with the large quantities of information that surround us in our everyday lives. With databases making it easier to use research studies and track health trends, medical achievements and milestones are within grasp now more than ever. This realization has caused organizations worldwide to spend a combined $ 3.7 trillion on information technology products and services this year. The increase in investment of data is not specific just to the health care sector, either; every industry is working to grow their stores and use of data.

The healthcare industry has dominated research since before IT found its way into the mainstream and information became readily accessible to all. Public health research has also been a focus for government agencies and healthcare organizations, whose job it is to monitor and improve public health. As noncommunicable diseases like cancer and heart disease increase in prevalence, public health research continues to grow as medical professionals seek out solutions that will help reduce the number of lives lost to these conditions.

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Although the uncertainty and often slow pace of research towards medical breakthroughs often deters and delays funding for experimental studies, researchers continue to seek ways tackle these major public health issues. Health science and clinical trials cost millions of dollars in paperwork, delegating resources and the legal ramifications of errors that can potentially cost people their lives.

Serving Communities With Information

An international medical trial referred to as “IV iron for Treatment of Anaemia before Cardiac Surgery” enrolled 1000 patients who were scheduled to have open-heart surgery. Although this trial seemed relatively simple by providing patients with an iron injection weeks prior to their surgery, it cost over two million dollars to get up and running. However, the success of this trial could reduce the number of complications for open-heart surgery patients.

Even with numerous trials taking place in hospitals across the nation and worldwide, the need for more public health research to help solve medical problems remains. Although the U.S. is one of the most technically advanced countries in the world, its healthcare system ranks last out of 11 developed countries year after year. The lack of government involvement and dedication to public health care has created a more intent focus on outpatient care rather than overall long-term care, which means those healthcare resources are not aimed directly enough towards health education and preventative care.

The U.S. general population can stand to gain valuable life-altering knowledge by increasing public health research. By shifting the perspective of public health research from the cost, to the endless possibilities there are to gain through medical research, we can begin to prioritize public health the way it is done in other developed countries around the world. Although there are more resources available to those with the funds to afford it, increasing public health research can extend those resources to more vulnerable populations who are often in even greater need. This can help maintain a standard of health that will keep communities happy and healthy on a larger scale.

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About the author

Brooke Faulkner is a mom and writer in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She loves researching the current state of medicine and sharing her findings with other families. You can find more of her writing on twitter or at contently.