The largest research project of its kind, designed to better understand the health of people living in Wales, was launched yesterday.
HealthWise Wales is a five-year confidential research study, which aims to develop an in-depth knowledge of the health of the nation with information gained being used to help the NHS plan for the future.
The study hopes to recruit 260,000 people aged 16 and older and will involve large numbers of people in health and social care research.
Dr Ruth Hussey, Wales’ Chief Medical Officer said: "Healthwise Wales is the largest research project of its kind ever launched in Wales and it will help the NHS plan for the future. We are taking a new approach with people working closely with researchers as equal partners.
“If you’re over 16 and live in Wales, you can help us better understand the health of the nation. Young or old, fit or unwell you will be contacted every six months to get an ongoing understanding of your health. This is about people sharing their knowledge to improve health and care in Wales.
“We are calling on people to register now for HealthWise Wales to inform the future by helping today.”
A team of researchers at Cardiff University are leading the population research study, working in partnership with Swansea University. A pilot was launched in May 2015 and 570 people have signed up to date; feedback from the pilot phase has influenced the development of the campaign to recruit 260,000 people.
HealthWise Wales will engage with members of the public by holding roadshow event across Wales to encourage people to sign up to the research, alongside TV adverts and social media activity.
Professor Shantini Paranjothy, from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, said: "HealthWise Wales is a unique opportunity that builds on a strong tradition of population health research in Wales. This large-scale project will use modern technology to engage people in research and provide opportunities to contribute to the design and conduct of research studies.”