Helen Eyles, Jacqui Grey, Elaine Umali, Cliona Ni Mhurchu
Technologies such as smartphone apps, Wi-Fi-enabled data collection devices, and web-based data management systems offer the opportunity to deliver and assess the impact of clinical trials remotely, something which researchers are becoming increasingly drawn to. However, there are drawbacks, and even experienced teams will encounter challenges. In this blog we share the lessons we learnt during the conduct of SALTS, a remote blood pressure lowering trial in Aotearoa, New Zealand, where a smartphone app was part of the intervention package. Our aim in sharing these lessons is to help other researchers considering the use of technology in research to be aware of some of the lesser-known challenges they may face.
Dr George Disney, Dr Andrea Teng, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Tony Blakely
There are striking inequalities in cancer incidence and mortality in NZ, by both ethnicity and socioeconomic status. In this blog, we introduce an interactive online tool that enables anyone from researchers, policy-makers, journalists and health practitioners to access high quality data on these vital, population-level health statistics. Examples we use include: massive declines in cardiovascular disease inequality, but still large inequalities such as widening gaps in mortality for diseases consistent with the obesity epidemic; and the fact that adults aged 25-44 years with no formal qualifications have had very little mortality decline in the last 30 years, begging the question “Why?”.
Prof Nick Wilson, Dr George Disney, Prof Tony Blakely
New Zealand is making rapid strides in the smart use of big data to provide better health information for decision-makers. Here we look at a recent output: a Treasury Working Paper that considers the employment and income effects of eight health conditions. Such information could ultimately inform the best use of resources for disease prevention and treatment interventions from a societal perspective.
Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Associate Professor Nick Wilson, Professor Tony Blakely
This blog was triggered by the recent highly publicised review on the cancer risk from processed meat and red meat. Here we briefly look at this topic and also take a wider perspective on other aspects of meat consumption on human health and the environment, and risk communication.