Author: Emma Garside

The lowdown Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a rare condition that causes progressive scarring of the lungs. Over time, the buildup of scar tissue (fibrosis) causes the lungs to become thick and hard, which ultimately results in the lungs losing their elasticity and an irreversible loss of the tissue's ability to transfer oxygen to the bloodstream. Unfortunately, IPF is a chronic disease that sees lung function progressively declining over time before failing completely.

When it comes to conducting a successful medical market research study, there's a lot to get your head around, from assessing how achievable your project is to recruiting participants that fit the necessary criteria. And all that's before you even begin to tackle the healthcare jargon out there or try to make sense of who does what in the NHS.

The Lowdown The majority of cuts and grazes are minor and start to heal within a few days. In fact, 60% of all wounds heal with minimum intervention - however 20% will require some kind of specialist intervention and a further 20% will never heal and need ongoing palliative care. A wound is considered chronic when it doesn't heal in the expected time frame - and the correct treatment of these wounds is critical, as improper or lack of wound care can result in amputation or even death. Different types of wounds often require very specific and specialised management for the best chance to heal, with wound care specialists treating a number of different type of wounds such as inflammation, superficial and deep abrasions, pressure sores, burns and leg ulcers. Like all branches of medicine, wound care is constantly evolving and pharmaceutical companies are always developing new drugs and dressings to help improve healing processes, making wound care an important area for healthcare market research.

What is autism? Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others. Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people, which impacts their social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour.

Transplant surgery is the surgical removal of an organ, tissue or blood products from a donor that is then surgically placed or infused into a recipient. It's generally a final treatment option for end-stage diseases, conditions or injuries that haven't improved with other medical treatments and therefore have no other options left. Kidney transplants are the most commonly performed, although transplants of the heart, liver, lungs, pancreas, intestine and even face are now available, with the majority of transplants costing the NHS up to ë£50,000[1]. After a transplant, patients usually stay in hospital for around two to three weeks, with most people being able to start returning to many of their normal activities within a few months.

What is reproductive medicine? Reproductive medicine is a branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis and management of disorders and diseases of the reproductive organs. It is estimated that one in seven couples - that's approximately 3.5 million people in the UK - have difficulty conceiving, making fertility a really important area for medical fieldwork.

The lowdown Despite the stigma still surrounding it, mental health problems are incredibly common in the UK. In fact, it is estimated that 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, making mental health the largest cause of disability in the UK.Of those that do suffer from mental health issues, women are more likely than men to have a common mental health problem and are also twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders. Sadly, despite mental health problems affecting a quarter of the population, government funding has fallen in recent years.

The United Kingdom is officially a nation of allergy sufferers. According to recent studies, 21 million adults in the UK have an allergy, whilst 50% of children and young people suffer with one or more allergies - with that number increasing to 60-80% if their parents have allergies too. Why is it so hard to find a true Allergist for medical market research?

According to the latest Cystic Fibrosis Trust figures, there are currently over 10,000 people diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis in the UK, five babies are born with CF each week, and two people die.

Cancer remains the second largest cause of death in the UK. While diagnosis and treatments continue to improve thanks to the work done by world-leading researchers and specialist experts, there is still much to learn, and a very long way to go, before we can completely defeat this dreadful disease. One scientific area that may yet prove to be highly influential in discovering a cure for cancer is cancer stem cell research. One place dedicated to pioneering, world-leading research and improving our understanding of the role cancer stem cells play is the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute.