Crad Allerton: promoting health research
Milton Keynes’ Crad Allerton is a Research Champion, where members of the public volunteer to spread the word about health and care research. Here, he explains why research is important to him.
“Research for me is the process of getting to an understanding of something based on measured data. For a civil engineering student in the 60s the factor of safety was a fundamental part of design. This meant using every element of known data for each component part of the structure.
“Our knowledge of a health subject may be right for this year but next year we’ll know a little bit more and realise there is so much yet to learn. So we ask different questions, find that some are the right ones and some lead us in the wrong direction. And keep asking. And testing. And sometimes, with an amazingly globally connected rapidity, a solution is discovered.
“We all need to be connected, we share a variety of human characteristics and all have something to offer in helping to find solutions.
“When I first got involved in the National Institute for Health Research I checked out the website and found at least five instances where I could contribute.
“I’ve been using an app developed by the University of Oxford for Alzheimer’s research called Mezurio. It involves completing brain tests such as tilting my phone to hit targets as fast as I can and remembering where objects in an image belong. It's an interesting way of discovering my current cognitive abilities. Hopefully the results will usefully add to ongoing research, even though I won’t necessarily be around at the time when they have an answer. It’s all quite fascinating.”
For more information about the programme, visit the NIHR Clinical Research Network Thames Valley and South Midlands Research Champions website.