Health is first
There are three things in life was the title of a well-known catchy song from the 1960s: health, money and love, in an order that elicits general acceptance, at least as far as health is concerned. Health is first, definitely.
The father of modern diabetes, Elliot joslin, coined phrases as graphic and resounding as this: “The genes carry the weapon. Lifestyle triggers the trigger ” or like this other: " Any treatment will be a waste of time and money until the patient is trained to understand his own reality ”.
The renowned endocrinologist and medical communicator Juan Madrid, is the author of a Blog on health in general and a collection of books collected under the motto of “You can…“, in which the second part of this statement is understood, that is: you can… be healthier, if you want. Willpower, perseverance but also basic knowledge of the causes of diseases, along the lines advocated by Joslin, can be decisive elements to enjoy good health.
In the words of Dr. Madrid, “There are many factors that affect health, and some, especially genetic ones, are beyond our control, but it is no less true that in general, we can all greatly influence our quality of life. Some of my patients, after a while, do not experience all the improvement that they and I hope. The most widespread cause is the difficulty to change their wrong lifestyle habits "
The improper diet it is at the base of many diseases, such as childhood obesity, with an unstoppable growth rate in developed countries, but it is not the only determining factor. Lack of physical exercise, smoking, alcoholism, drug addiction, stress, ... are other relevant factors to take into account.
The EU advises
A few months ago, in a post about open data I echoed the report Redesigning health in Europe by 2020, prepared by a group of high-level experts, which warned of the need to address disruptive changes in public health systems for the sake of their own sustainability.
The third program health 2014-2020 of the EU identifies as fundamental challenges to tackle those derived from the aging of the population and the increase in longevity, as well as an increase in chronic diseases that limit the active life expectancy of citizens, with the consequent economic repercussions that are generated in the form of lost productivity and overburdening of healthcare costs.
This program provides funds worth € 450 million for specific projects that impact on objectives such as promoting healthy living, preventing chronic diseases and coordinating health emergencies.
In 2010 there were almost 90 million Europeans over 65 But the projections made announce that this number will rise to 147 million in 2060, which forces us to adopt innovative measures aimed at improving the quality of life of this group, while reducing the costs of the healthcare they need.
The EU alerts the Member States in a special way about the effects of the aging of the population but also draws attention to the business opportunities associated with caring for the elderly in particular and the health of all citizens in general.
In particular, the EU encourages entrepreneurs to develop innovative services and solutions, ICT-based, in matters such as prevention and personalized health management or accessibility and friendliness of buildings, environments and cities in which our lives take place and whose quality is intended to improve, as an ultimate goal, smart cities. This will be precisely the object of my next post: smart cities and health.