As part of SPOR, the Innovative Clinical Trials (iCT) initiative aims to build capacity and increase the intensity of iCT research. iCTs use designs that are alternative to traditional Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) with application in areas ranging from product development to health system improvement. iCT methods can reduce the cost of conducting trials, reduce the amount of time needed to answer research questions, and increase the relevance of research findings to patients, health care providers and/or policy makers. Adopting these alternative designs can maximize the use of existing knowledge and data.
In an effort to facilitate collaborations, CIHR has launched the SPOR iCT linkage tool. More information can be found on the iCT initiative webpage.
Moreover, CIHR will provide funding for iCTs that have a primary focus in the research areas of:
- comparative effectiveness research; and/or
- implementation science research.
Comparative effectiveness research compares two or more healthcare options already shown to be efficacious. The healthcare options could include diagnostics, drugs, medical devices, surgeries, complementary medicine, self-care or ways to deliver health care. The findings should be able to inform health-care decisions by providing evidence on the effectiveness, benefits, and harms of different health care options and other type of interventions.
Implementation science research examines interventions that are already shown to work under certain conditions and within certain contexts, which could be defined by demographic, biological, clinical, social, economic, geographic, or other factors. Implementation science aims to determine if these interventions can be adapted to other contexts, how should they be adapted and what are the longer term effects. In other words, implementation research seeks to understand what interventions work for whom and under what circumstances. It studies the factors that influence the full and effective use of interventions in practice, which could include affordability, adaptability, scalability and sustainability.