GKA Blog

The lowdown

In 2012, the number of over 65's in the UK surpassed 10 million, outnumbering people aged 16 and under for the very first time. It's official - the UK is an aging population, and that's not going to change anytime soon. In fact, the latest projections suggest that there will be a staggering 5.5 million more elderly people in the UK in just 20 years time, and that the total number of elderly people will hit an estimated 19 million by 2050. It's even been predicated that one in three babies born in 2013 will celebrate their 100th birthday, as opposed to just 1% born in 1901. There are two main factors contributing towards the so-called'greying population'.

Why do we need support groups for patient recruitment? Support groups provide a place for patients and family members to come together to educate, comfort and give strength to one another when dealing with disease or illness. With thousands of members who also fit a variety of research criteria, support groups not only greatly benefit patients, but are also a vital source for patient recruitment in medical fieldwork, enabling researchers to reach out to a totally new sample of respondents. Support groups often have various ways of contacting patients - whether online, through written newsletters, via social media and websites or during face-to-face group sessions - meaning that they can not only help spread the word to their members about upcoming research projects, but that the respondents are also easy to contact and can be sourced according to individual market research projects. Patients will also be more likely to participate if the invite for the research is coming from a source they trust such as a support group.

Defining the junior doctor   Junior doctors are the clinical leaders of the future and make up approximately half of today's medical workforce. Statistics from 2014 actually suggest this number may be even higher, with junior doctors making up 61,510 of a total 104,912 doctors in the UK. In some specialist areas, junior doctors account for an even greater percentage of the workforce; in A&E 4,560 of the 6,148 doctors are junior doctors, whilst in Paedeatrics there are 5,033 junior doctors compared to just 2,836 consultants.

What is haemophilia? Haemophilia is an inherited disorder affecting the body's ability to clot. Normally when somebody cuts themselves, clotting factors and platelets combine to make the blood stickier and make the bleeding stop. When someone suffers from haemophilia, bleeding episodes will last longer due to abnormal clotting. Bruising can also occur more easily, and it is not uncommon for spontaneous bleeding to occur. The main problem for haemophiliacs is internal bleeding into joints, muscles and soft tissues, which can cause pain and stiffness as well as leading to joint damage.

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?

Decades ago, when imagining the future, some people foresaw a time when humanoid robots would serve and take care of their human masters. As robotics technology developed, that vision began to seem a bit silly and quaint, as we watched real robots reveal themselves to be more like heavy machinery on a factory floor or a system of precision tools like the da Vinci Surgical System, which has now performed more than 20,000 surgeries. 

Children and young people are a vital demographic in all fields of market research; they often give more honest answers than adults and can provide a wealth of insights and information. However, conducting medical market research with younger demographics - is a very sensitive process and not without its share of difficulties. Not only are there a number of rigorous rules and regulations that must be followed to ensure the safe and ethical conduction of research, but it is often much harder to communicate with children and analysing the information gathered can also be problematic.

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) were established following the introduction of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, replacing Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) as the organisations responsible for the delivery of a large percentage of healthcare services for the population in their local area. Led by General Practitioners, and supported by a range of other healthcare professionals, CCGs work closely with a range of other public and private bodies, including local authorities and the voluntary sector, to plan, commission and deliver services. How have CCGs evolved since their inception? The most significant change since their inception is the involvement of CCGs in the co-commissioning primary care services. Previously undertaken solely by NHS England, 64 CCGs have now committed to a new joint commissioning arrangement that will see frontline medical practitioners having more of a say in the nature of the primary care services they can purchase and deliver. Around 70% of all CCGs throughout England are now involved in primary care planning in some capacity, and also deal with a range of other issues such as individual funding requests (for particular treatments or pharmaceutical products).