Main non-academic users and direct beneficiaries of our research are healthcare practitioners and policy makers in the Hospital Authority (HA), the HKSAR Government and its Department of Health (DH), private healthcare clinics and elderly homes, prominent Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) (e.g. Hong Kong Red Cross), patients and their significant others, and professional bodies. Our research directly benefits professional/clinical service and patients receiving care, e.g. cancer patients, those with mental health problems, and older adults, as well as members of the public and our industrial partners. Our research benefits these groups by advancing knowledge and understanding of disease and its risk factors and disease prevention, improving therapeutic methods/approaches, so driving evidence-based improvements to clinical/professional practice for patient care and support, influencing healthcare policies and guidelines, and successfully commercialising our innovative healthcare tools/devices. Our inter-disciplinary research spans epidemiological studies, clinical trials, and development/evaluation of novel products/approaches to address healthcare challenges of local and international importance and interest. Our research centre, ‘Centre for Smart Health’, with computer engineering collaboration, developed a new High-fidelity and Real-time 3D/4D Ultrasound Visualization System (Dr Harry Qin), now commercialised with industry partners. Our novel self-disinfecting coating (Dr Margaret O’Donoghue) is being applied in HA for inactivation of healthcare-associated pathogens and environmental decontamination. Our research attracts philanthropic donations and high-value consultancies. Our collaborative work with Department of Applied Social Sciences (Prof. Alice Loke (SN), Dr Sijian Li (SN), Dr Sunshine Chan (SN), Dr Timothy Sim (APSS)) on new concepts for disaster mitigation and relief has seen implementation of our research to support school development and resilience of disaster-affected children in China and across Southeast Asia.
We have a portfolio of longstanding interdisciplinary relationships and partnerships focusing on healthcare needs, and a wide range of international research partners/networks (e.g. World Health Organization (WHO), Cochrane), and have strong representation on DH and HA Boards, Societies/Associations as well as Research Councils and Panels (e.g. Research Grants Council (RGC), Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF)). We host the WHO Collaborating Centre for Community Health Services for the Region, and have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Cochrane for the Cochrane Global Ageing. We develop free user-friendly resources in multiple formats, e.g. brochures and videos, and organise regular dissemination laymen talks in elderly homes, schools and the community. An example is a YouTube video clip (2019) from our research on music intervention for helping people with dementia and their caregivers (Dr Daphne Cheung). We engage with clinicians, industry (when appropriate), patients and the public as co-designers, co-applicants and disseminators of our research. We are training patients and the public in how to engage in research activity, e.g. through the Cochrane Consumer Network for our Cochrane Global Ageing activity, and are developing and planning priority setting partnerships to inform members of our community and patient groups of our findings to benefit their health and well-being. Our researchers regularly present their work in conferences, not only academic ones but also specially organized events for NGOs and stakeholders. Social media and other media strategies are used to increase awareness and engagement with our research activity, e.g. press releases, university websites, radio and television programmes, news articles, hosting open forums and running workshops, reaching out to local schools, elderly homes and community groups, Facebook, Twitter, etc. To extend our reach, the University’s Communications and Public Affairs Office promotes events and showcases our research on a wide variety of platforms worldwide, e.g. strong presence at annual Innovation and Industrial Expos, such as the Geneva Inventions Expos, at which our researchers have won many prestigious awards which attract industrial interest/partnerships. Training opportunities have been carried out regularly in the past few years with international experts invited to provide training workshops (i.e. Prof. Karen Luker, The University of Manchester; Prof. Tracey Howe, Cochrane Centre and others). Training has focused both on developing impactful research and on developing systems to capture ‘impact’ over time, such as the UK RAND/ARC Impact Scoring System (RAISS) method or the US Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART), as well as on implementation sciences methods.