Medical research is essential for improving healthcare and tackling the biggest health problems that we face today. Whether you are healthy or have a medical condition, medical research benefits everyone by improving doctors’ and scientists’ understanding of how well different treatments and medicines work.
There are many ways in which medical research is conducted. Clinical trials, which are used to test new medicines in a controlled setting, are one example that many people may be familiar with, but there is much more to medical research than clinical trials. Medical research is increasingly being carried out using health data as a complement to traditional clinical trials to understand what is happening to patients when they are treated in real life settings. Health information collected on patients, when they are prescribed a medicine or visit their doctor, can be used to conduct medical research into the effectiveness of a particular treatment or to detect harmful side effects of a medicine.