Aim 4: Health System Research 

Widening ONDRI’s lens of research

As the population ages, the number of people living with neurodegenerative disease, stroke and dementia is expected to dramatically rise in Ontario and throughout the world.

The goal of Aim 4 is to analyze Ontario health system records, to inform healthcare policy and planning for the people living with the diseases studied by ONDRI.

Video: Susan Bronskill, PhD, Aim 4 lead, describing ONDRI’s Aim 4:

To access closed captioning, or read the words, click on CC at bottom of the video

Broad health system perspective examining real world data

ONDRI’s Aim 4 is led by expert researchers from ICES (formerly the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences), an independent not-for-profit research institute funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health.

ICES provides expertise in health services research to inform policy makers and stakeholders. Under Ontario’s privacy legislation, ICES is permitted to collect & store health data for health research purposes. Examples of such data include hospitalizations, emergency department visits, drugs dispensed under the provincial formulary for those age 65+.

Varied research topics

Aim 4 researchers use anonymized ICES health data to better understand how people living with neurodegenerative diseases, stroke and dementia use publicly funded health services, on a provincial scale. Aim 4’s work helps inform health system policy and resource planning.


Aim 4 research is focused in four areas:

  • Health system use and cost of neurodegenerative disease, stroke and dementia
  • The burden of other, co-occurring health conditions amongst people living with neurodegenerative disease, stroke and dementia
  • Patterns of drug therapy in people living with neurodegenerative disease, stroke and dementia
  • Securely linking existing Ontario health data to varied data sources (e.g. electronic medical records)

ONDRI’s four guiding aims: