A renewed approach to health research

Doing research with PULSAR means having access to new opportunities unavailable elsewhere in Québec and being at the forefront of a rallying and promising initiative in population health and well-being.

Joining PULSAR is all about taking a sustainable, inclusive, and equitable approach to health and believing in the potential of interdisciplinary and intersectoral research. It means sharing scientific knowledge and dialoguing with the public. It also means having access to powerful tools for collecting, analyzing, and leveraging data and benefiting from personalized support services.

Doing research with PULSAR means subscribing to an innovative new scientific approach to promote a healthier population.

PULSAR’s
scientific approach

A global, sustainable approach to health

The health challenges of today and tomorrow are too important to be tackled in a vacuum. Yet, much research is still conducted in isolation, which limits its impact on the population.

Knowing that people’s health and well-being are influenced by multiple, often interrelated factors, PULSAR aims to break down the silos between disciplines, areas of knowledge and expertise to find global, sustainable solutions to the challenges of today and tomorrow.

A hub for
interdisciplinarity

PULSAR’s mission is to develop sustainable health research. To succeed, input from all fields of research—and projects that are truly interdisciplinary – are needed.

PULSAR creates simple, innovative collaborative spaces and tools designed to bring together people directly or indirectly interested in sustainable health.

As a hub for developing concrete projects aimed at improving population health and well-being, PULSAR has already rallied people from a wide range of backgrounds, including over 100 experts from the research and new technology communities, the Québec health network, and various cities and communities.

An inclusive and participatory vision of research

Participation by individual citizens and other stakeholders (researchers, policy makers, clinicians, health professionals, and others) is essential to every project conducted with PULSAR.

The solutions developed by PULSAR promote interdisciplinary work, collaboration, scientific sharing, and inclusion. In doing so, projects can be linked together so they can integrate and make use of a wide range of information (ideas, data, knowledge, etc.) from all stakeholders.

Concrete applications geared toward results

The goal of all projects carried out with PULSAR is to find ways to have a greater and more tangible impact on population health. How? 

By getting the public directly involved in research 
PULSAR facilitates and multiplies opportunities for dialogue between research teams and knowledge users, including decision makers and the general public. As a result, scientific insights derived from projects carried out with PULSAR will better reflect the population’s interests and needs.

By taking the pulse of what’s happening on the ground 
PULSAR connects with the population using new connected technologies and big data generated by people and their environements every day.  

By disseminating quality content
PULSAR is a reliable space where the information disseminated and exchanged comes from credible scientific sources and is rigorously vetted.

By collaborating on projects that intervene in the community 
PULSAR joins forces with a variety of partners to work on innovative and promising initiatives. 

For example, by playing a central role in the City of Québec’s vision to be a “smart city,”, PULSAR will be used to identify the factors with the greatest impact on the health of Québec City residents. This will lead to specific initiatives as part of an unprecedented push to try to reduce social inequities among the people of Québec City. 

Sustainable health evaluation framework

PULSAR is working together with hundreds of Université Laval researchers to develop an original framework for assessing sustainable health. The framework will help develop a common vocabulary for all members of the research community interested in sustainable health.

PULSAR’s sustainable health evaluation framework is based on the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) conceptual framework of health and its determinants. PULSAR’s sustainable health evaluation framework is designed to promote true interdisciplinarity and intersectorality through a global approach to health issues and phenomena—i.e., one that takes into account their interactions and inherent complexity rather than relying on discipline-, sector-, or specialty-based analyses.

This framework has 4 main dimensions and 20 sub-dimensions of sustainable health.

Individual characteristics

  • Behaviour and lifestyle
  • Personal and social skills
  • Biological and genetic characteristics
  • Socioeconomic characteristics

Living environments

  • Work environment
  • Educational environment
  • Family environment
  • Housing environment
  • Local community and neighbourhood

Systems

  • Health and social services
  • Education systems
  • Employment support
  • Social solidarity
  • Natural environment and ecosystems
  • Built environment

General context

  • Political and legislative context
  • Economic context
  • Demographic context
  • Social and cultural context
  • Scientific and technological context

Common working tools

In constant collaboration with the research community, PULSAR offers tools for measuring and assessing sustainable health in its various dimensions. These tools and the indicators associated with them indicators can be used to measure various dimensions associated with sustainable health. Researchers will be able to use them in various types of research projects.

These tools are currently in development and will be progressively released on the PULSAR platform.

Dietary quality

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Physical activity, sedentary lifestyles, and physical fitness

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Neighborhood design and development

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Air quality

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Mood, stress, and anxiety

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Musculoskeletal health

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Benefits of research with PULSAR

Doing research with PULSAR is an opportunity to:

  • Develop new initiatives for the health and well-being of Quebecers
  • Create new collaborations with researchers from all UL faculties around a unifying concept that affects us all: sustainable health
  • Contribute to the development and practical application of a new way of looking at and doing interdisciplinary and intersectoral research
  • Open a dialogue with the public, professionals, clinicians, and decision makers to develop research projects that will have a real and significant benefit on the health of individuals in their community
  • Share data, knowledge, and expertise, between researchers in an unprecedented spirit of cooperation and collaboration
  • Benefit from personalized support through the various stages of a research project (e.g., ethical support, recruitment of participants)
  • Manage all project aspects, from ideation to publication of findings, through a secure and state-of-the-art technological platform
  • Use powerful data analysis and cross-referencing tools to process data and cross-reference them with a multitude of data of all kinds from a variety of sources