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Harnessing AI and tech to move from cure to prevention would save lives and power economies, says Tony Blair Institute for Global Change
17 Jan 2024 . BY Kath Hudson
The Tony Blair Institute is calling for prevention to be an urgent priority / Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock
With pressure on medical services at an all time high, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change is calling for investment in disease prevention – treating people when they are asymptomatic.

The institute says governments are aiming at the wrong target by dealing with late stage symptomatic disease, rather than managing illness in its early, asymptomatic phase. Diagnostics and therapeutics, combined with new public health policies, could change this trajectory.

According to a new report from the institute, called Moving From Cure to Prevention Could Save the NHS Billions: A Plan to Protect Britain, although people are living longer, they're not living more healthily – 7.77 million people were waiting for medical treatment at September 2023.

This situation is causing a drag on the economy and ruining the quality of life for individuals living with chronic diseases that compromise their ability to work.

By age 75 the average Brit is 60 per cent more likely to possess two or more significant conditions, with this increasing to 75 per cent for those between the ages of 85 and 89.

The Blair thinktank says a change in approach could prevent this, halting disease progression before irreversible damage is done.

The risk factors which cause heart attacks, strokes, dementia and diabetes in later life present much earlier in the form of raised cholesterol, hypertension and increased body mass: this is when interventions should be made, including health screening and vaccination.

For example, health screening to identify low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, blood pressure and BMI for cardiometabolic disease. Circulating tumour DNA blood tests could identify cancer early. Genomics and artificial intelligence could be used to understand the lifetime risks carried by individuals in order to create personalised prevention plans.

A new generation of long-acting therapies could be used to manage risk factors, such as high cholesterol and blood pressure based on annual injections: effectively serving as vaccines against heart disease and stroke.

Treating someone for five years after a stroke can cost the NHS up to £45,000, while Inclisiran could prevent 55,000 heart attacks and strokes.

The report argues we have the tools but they are not being deployed, for example shingles vaccinations could reduce the risk of dementia by up to 20 per cent and there is emerging evidence that flu vaccines can give positive cardiovascular outcomes.

The solution is early detection, early therapy and anticipating disease with targeted prevention, to create a health system, rather than the sickness system we now operate, say the report's authors.

The new system needs to work outside, but alongside the NHS. The NHS must prioritise fixing other challenges in treatment waiting lists and acute care. This must be done in a convenient, accessible, digitised and community-based way: COVID vaccination programme showed this is possible. Finally, it is essential to effectively communicate with the public about how to proactively protect their health.






The NHS could save billions via early interventions / Credit: Shutterstock/Andrey_Popov
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PRODUCT NEWS
Harnessing AI and tech to move from cure to prevention would save lives and power economies, says Tony Blair Institute for Global Change
17 Jan 2024 . BY Kath Hudson
The Tony Blair Institute is calling for prevention to be an urgent priority / Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock
With pressure on medical services at an all time high, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change is calling for investment in disease prevention – treating people when they are asymptomatic.

The institute says governments are aiming at the wrong target by dealing with late stage symptomatic disease, rather than managing illness in its early, asymptomatic phase. Diagnostics and therapeutics, combined with new public health policies, could change this trajectory.

According to a new report from the institute, called Moving From Cure to Prevention Could Save the NHS Billions: A Plan to Protect Britain, although people are living longer, they're not living more healthily – 7.77 million people were waiting for medical treatment at September 2023.

This situation is causing a drag on the economy and ruining the quality of life for individuals living with chronic diseases that compromise their ability to work.

By age 75 the average Brit is 60 per cent more likely to possess two or more significant conditions, with this increasing to 75 per cent for those between the ages of 85 and 89.

The Blair thinktank says a change in approach could prevent this, halting disease progression before irreversible damage is done.

The risk factors which cause heart attacks, strokes, dementia and diabetes in later life present much earlier in the form of raised cholesterol, hypertension and increased body mass: this is when interventions should be made, including health screening and vaccination.

For example, health screening to identify low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, blood pressure and BMI for cardiometabolic disease. Circulating tumour DNA blood tests could identify cancer early. Genomics and artificial intelligence could be used to understand the lifetime risks carried by individuals in order to create personalised prevention plans.

A new generation of long-acting therapies could be used to manage risk factors, such as high cholesterol and blood pressure based on annual injections: effectively serving as vaccines against heart disease and stroke.

Treating someone for five years after a stroke can cost the NHS up to £45,000, while Inclisiran could prevent 55,000 heart attacks and strokes.

The report argues we have the tools but they are not being deployed, for example shingles vaccinations could reduce the risk of dementia by up to 20 per cent and there is emerging evidence that flu vaccines can give positive cardiovascular outcomes.

The solution is early detection, early therapy and anticipating disease with targeted prevention, to create a health system, rather than the sickness system we now operate, say the report's authors.

The new system needs to work outside, but alongside the NHS. The NHS must prioritise fixing other challenges in treatment waiting lists and acute care. This must be done in a convenient, accessible, digitised and community-based way: COVID vaccination programme showed this is possible. Finally, it is essential to effectively communicate with the public about how to proactively protect their health.






The NHS could save billions via early interventions / Credit: Shutterstock/Andrey_Popov
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Energym’s flagship product, the RE:GEN Studio, is an indoor bike that captures the energy from workouts and converts it into clean, usable power.
Skillup targets the entire body with focus on upper body muscles
Technogym has released Skillup, an ergometer designed to target the entire body, with a focus on the muscle groups of the upper back, chest and arms, by simulating the actions of cross country skiing.
Leverage Squat Machine facilitates deeper squats says Skelcore
Skelcore, a Miami-based fitness equipment manufacturer, has announced its newest release: the Leverage Squat Machine.
Portable device from Hyperice delivers on-the-go muscle recovery
Hyperice recently introduced its newest product: the Normatec Lower Legs.
Klafs launches all-new Taras outdoor sauna
Klafs has introduced the Taras outdoor sauna to offer a blend of functionality and style.
Keiser A400 resistance will empower fitness enthusiasts
Keiser has released a new line of resistance equipment designed to give real-time feedback and data analytics.
MyEquilibria combines art and outdoor exercise
"We summarise what we do in two words – functional art," says Gian Luca Innocenzi, CEO and founder of MyEquilibria, which specialises in high-end outdoor exercise equipment.
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For more than four decades, Keiser has influenced the training of athletes, fitness enthusiasts an [more...]
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