Scale up the Fight against Chronic Diseases
Chronic diseases are a serious problem on a global scale. They severely limit patient's well-being and enjoyment of life. They put an increasing stress to economies and health care systems. This is avoidable and can be changed. A health-promoting lifestyle can prevent, halt, or even reverse a chronic disease to significantly improve both mental and physical health of a person, while also have positive effects on the economy and healthcare system.
As we want to tackle this together, we are looking for innovative approaches to improve the life of millions of people.
#ehealth #makebehaviorchangestick #changelifeforbetter
This Challenge is part of the HealthTech Innovation Program - click here to find out more.
Noncommunicable diseases, also known as chronic diseases, are the greatest global health risk - accounting for the death of about 41 million people around the world each year, equivalent to 71% of all deaths.
Globally almost 50% of these deaths are related to cardiovascular diseases and diabetes alone. In Germany about 35% of the people die from cardiovascular disease related causes.
In conjunction with an aging population, chronic diseases put an increasing strain to a country’s economy and its health care system due to sick days, presenteeism and early retirement on the economical side as well as increasing health care costs, for example due to more hospital visits, more expensive medical procedures, and medication.
Unlike in communicable diseases, such as covid or malaria, chronic diseases build up over a longer period and can be substantially influence by a person’s behavior and lifestyle choices.
When looking at cardiovascular diseases, these risk factors include tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets. Unhealthy diets and a lack of physical activity may for example show up in people as elevated blood pressure, increased blood glucose, unfavorable blood lipids and obesity. Most of these people first become type 2 diabetes patients and in the end often suffer from cardiovascular complications like heart attacks or stroke that finally lead to death.
A person's unhealthy and unconscious lifestyle can lead to the incidence or progression of a chronic disease, severely affecting their mental and physical well-being. Vice versa this means, that a health-promoting lifestyle can prevent, halt or even reverse a chronic disease and tremendously improve mental and physical well-being. Lifestyle interventions even give type 2 diabetics the chance to go into remission and fully recover from their disease. And this chance we want to tackle together!
A main problem is that our current health care system is not set up to support patients in changing their lifestyle. Health care professionals are lacking time and knowledge to do so. The payors in the system, the statutory and private health insurances, have gradually rolled out patient support programs for several indications to overcome this care gap. However, most of these programs are based on some form of personal or group coaching that is successful but cost intensive, hard to scale and poses no easy to access solutions for larger target groups, such as the group with risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, which represent up to 33% of all adults in Germany.
The key question of our challenge is therefore:
How can we help people change their lifestyle related behavior and form healthy habits in order to reduce their risk of becoming chronically ill?
A solution should not be thought of without considering the three central subordinate remarks:
- how to produce a sustainable change in diet, physical activity and health literacy in people that are not actively interested in their lifestyle.
- how can a scalable solution look like: How to answer the key question without providing every person with a chronic disease a personal coach, nutritionist or trainer?
- which role should a health insurance company like Generali take in the solution?
If we overcome the prevalent boundary and be able to help people to make healthier life choices on a larger scale, this would lead to longer life expectancy and higher quality of life for people at risk and their families as well as a reduced economic strains for our health care system and reduce the load on the health care professionals. More inspiring and guiding input can be found in the tab “Important details” as well as “Submission”.
Questions or looking for support?
If you want to talk to someone from our team about your approaches, you need more information or questions arise, you are welcome to join our Q&A call with our project manager (submission) or write to us anytime via the chat on this platform to your right.
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