Applied research has many valuable applications in improving patient care, and it may be one of the most underutilized tools in medicine today. As research continues to advance new medical technology and treatment protocols, it’s essential that doctors stay up to date on new findings so they can better care for their patients.
Applied Research for Improving Patient Care
What Is Applied Research?
In layman’s language, applied research is a type of research that has been designed, planned, and carried out in order to produce a product or service with the potential for commercialization. Companies often use it to develop new products or improve existing ones. The goal of applied research is different from other types of research. Instead of discovering something entirely new, it focuses on solving an existing problem or finding new solutions to old problems.
How Does Applied Research Differ from Traditional Research?
Applied research is a type of research where the goal is to solve a real-world problem and the outcomes are expected to have an immediate effect. The main difference between applied research and traditional research is that the former aims to find solutions while the latter focuses on understanding what may happen in different situations.
Other differences include the level of scientific rigour, who funds the research, and how it is conducted. Unlike more traditional forms of research, there are no methodological standards for applied research, which can lead to problems like generalizability and validity issues.
There are several funding sources for applied research, with most funded by private industries or governmental organizations because they have a vested interest in solving certain problems. For example, the National Institutes of Health invests in applied research projects related to medical care and diseases. Private companies invest in applying their technologies to solve industry-specific problems.
Governmental agencies also invest in applied research when it supports their goals as well as contributes to economic development. In some cases, public interests come first and research is commissioned to meet those needs, such as environmental studies done by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If you’re interested in conducting applied research, contact your institution’s office of sponsored programs to learn about the opportunities available.
Applied Research in Healthcare
Applied research can be found in many different aspects of healthcare, such as medical devices and pharmaceuticals. For instance, pharmaceutical companies may conduct applied research into improving their drugs to be more effective against various ailments. Medical device manufacturers might do the same with their equipment. And these aren’t just theoretical findings—these studies have real-world applications since improvements are usually made to already-existing models rather than waiting for brand-new inventions.
Applied research in healthcare is usually conducted by professionals who specialize in specific areas, including doctors and nurses. Much of the time, though, these professionals will collaborate with one another to see what they can learn from each others’ experiences while they’re working at the hospital or clinic. Doctors will also frequently look at research completed by people in related fields like medicine and engineering.
Other times, though, there will be disagreements between doctors over how best to treat patients and which methods should be used when administering medication or conducting surgery; this is where empirical evidence becomes important. In summary, applied research provides scientific evidence for clinical practice. It also provides guidance to clinicians and researchers in all fields so that they can make decisions based on the data collected through experiments.
How Is Applied Research Used to Improve Patient Care?
Innovation is the key to improving patient care, and applied research is one way this innovation is achieved. The process of applying scientific knowledge in a practical setting has been used for centuries, but it wasn’t until recently that it became a priority for healthcare providers.
There are many examples of how applied research has led to great improvements in patient care. including :
1. Discovery of new drugs: For example, the discovery of penicillin led to dramatic decreases in deaths from bacterial infections. Also, the development of treatments for tuberculosis and malaria has helped both diseases become manageable diseases instead of life-threatening.
2. Development of Medical technology: For example, the creation of prosthetic limbs ensures patients who have lost a limb can lead an active life again. A person with an amputated limb would be fitted with a prosthetic device to help them regain their mobility. Such devices work well when they are matched to the person’s lifestyle and medical condition.
3. Development of new medical procedures: For example, innovations such as open-heart surgery or kidney transplants save lives by replacing less effective treatments such as blood transfusions or dialysis.
4. New ways of delivering health information: For example, televised health messages show people at home how to prevent heart disease through diet and exercise programs so that they don’t feel compelled to come into the hospital for treatment which might not even be necessary in some cases.
Overall, applied research helps to improve the quality of life for patients while decreasing costs in health care delivery. Because applied research is conducted on a small scale with individuals (not groups), data can more easily be analyzed to find solutions. Moreover, the research is conducted on actual people and environments (e.g., hospitals) which makes its findings more accurate than hypothetical experiments.
Finally, applied research requires sustained support so projects do not end after only a few years; this means that scientists need time to conduct detailed analyses of outcomes or produce results that will last over the long term without discontinuing their work prematurely.
How Can I Get Involved in Applied Research?
If you’re interested in getting involved with applied research, there are many ways that you can do so. You can volunteer for a study, or work with your doctor to find studies for which you may be eligible. If you’re not interested in being a study participant, there are still other ways that you can get involved. For example, some researchers need help recruiting patients who meet certain criteria.
Others need people who have experienced the same medical conditions as study participants but have since recovered and could answer follow-up questions about their treatment and outcome.
And then there are those who need someone to review the patient experience of going through a certain procedure for the first time–both before and after the procedure–so that changes can be made if needed based on how it feels from an insider’s perspective. It is always good to think outside the box when looking at opportunities for involvement in applied research. It may take some creativity, but there is something out there for everyone!