Cancer survival is improving and today, half of people diagnosed will survive their disease. This is thanks to research. Research that’s guiding governments to change their policies, underpinning awareness campaigns and educational initiatives, turning discoveries into treatments and prevention measures.
But there’s still much to be done to help more people survive, by catching the disease earlier and developing better treatments.
This World Cancer Day, and as part of our celebrations to mark IGHI’s 10th anniversary this year, find out how our researchers are working to make that happen. Join us in exploring some of our projects that could lead to better detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
People complain for a variety of reasons. But international evidence consistently finds that most people complain to prevent incidents from happening to others – they want to see change as a result, when they feel something isn’t right. Making a complaint can therefore be an empowering process, if people know – or feel – that their actions could make a difference.
Dealing with complaints is an important learning process for those that the complaint is directed against, but also the institution more widely. They can highlight problems that may have otherwise slipped through the net, prompting action that can prevent the same mistakes happening again and affecting more people.
Taking medicines is the most common way that we attempt to stave off or treat illness. Every day people all across the world use medicines to help improve their health and wellbeing. They’ve transformed the treatment and outlook for many diseases, helping people live longer and healthier lives. Yet medicines are also a major risk to patients’ safety. And this risk is not only a result of drugs’ side effects.
Mistakes in the treatment process can also lead to patient harm. Errors can happen at any stage of the pathway; when professionals prescribe, dispense and administer drugs. In England alone, it’s estimated that over 230 million such errors occur every year, causing hundreds of deaths and contributing to thousands more.
By Gianluca Fontana and Saira Ghafur, Centre for Health Policy
Our National Health Service owns some of the most comprehensive patient data sets across the globe. This makes these data a very valuable asset – not just as a springboard for improving health and care through learning from the data, but also in terms of the potential for financial return. It is critical that if the NHS shares this data with companies, in an appropriate and secure way, it also receives a fair share of this financial return.
As the year draws to a close, we look back at some of IGHI’s best moments over the past 12 months. From launching new trials to test out promising health innovations, to partnering for better mental health, our Institute has achieved many things we’re proud of.
Find out how our progress is leading us towards our ambition of transforming health and care for all.
Many will be wishing to discover an Xbox-shaped gift glittering under the Christmas tree this year. Aside from the seemingly endless hours of entertainment, joy, frustration and competition that these consoles offer, Xbox technology – and other similar gadgets – is finding uses outside of the gaming world, and in the healthcare research sphere.
By Dr Ana Luisa Neves, General Practitioner and IGHI Research Fellow
The promise of healthcare data is staggering – and now, we have the information and tools to use it effectively that we’ve never had before.
Electronic health records can contribute to making life-altering changes in patient education and treatment. We’re increasingly realising their potential as a powerful resource for researchers and policymakers. Applying big data analytics in electronic health datasets can help us better understand patient needs. We can identify underserved or excluded groups and therefore contribute to delivering safer, better, and more patient-centred care.
However, much still needs to be done to increase the availability of healthcare data before these goals can be realised.
By Dr Emma Lawrance, IGHI Mental Health Innovations Fellow
It is the cliche refrain that every new generation hears: “You don’t know how lucky you are. Back in MY day…” [insert terrible circumstance here]. And young people today are indeed lucky in many ways, with new opportunities facilitated by new technologies always emerging. But they also face rising mental health challenges. Levels of emotional distress are increasing in UK youth to the extent it’s oft branded a “crisis”.
The finger of blame is pointed to numerous potential causes – increased pressure in the schooling system, social media and cyberbullying, unstable employment prospects.
Every day, around 360,000 babies are born around the world. Most will lead long, healthy lives into adulthood. Sadly, a minority experience a very short life due to illness or live with a long-term or life-limiting disease. For these children, palliative care can transform their experience, helping them live with a greater quality of life, while also supporting their family and friends.
Palliative care is an active and total approach to care, from the point of diagnosis, throughout the child’s life, to death and beyond. As a holistic care it embraces physical, emotional, social and spiritual elements and focuses on improving the quality of life of everyone involved.
Working in space comes with its fair share of challenges, to put it lightly. There’s the lack of gravity, extreme temperatures, intense cosmic radiation, delays in communication, clunky space suits, to name just a few things that astronauts contend with.
This complex environment means that tasks we would consider straightforward back on planet Earth, such as gripping and manipulating objects, are surprisingly difficult and time-consuming to accomplish. As humans continue to ramp-up their space exploration endeavours, attempting more daring feats and travelling deeper than ever before, scientists need to address these obstacles for future missions to be successful.
One potential helping hand could come in the form of robots.