Tag Archives: Health

Noise pollution: give citizens the means to reclaim their peace

Airport runways have the potential to cause long-term noise disturbance for those living in their vicinity. Associated health problems could also affect these neighbours. In the past 14 years, an EU Directive designed to measure the level of environmental noise and mitigate its effects on people's health has been in place. However, its implementation in each Member States has watered down the provisions designed to empower citizens to force further noise reduction measures. EuroScientist investigates what could be done to give citizens living near noisy transport environments the means to get back an acceptable level of peace. Read more [...]

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How citizens’ feedback can shape health research

Experts will discuss the latest research on healthy populations at the forthcoming EuroScience Open Forum event to be held in July 2016 in Manchester. The trouble is, until recently, often people who may be impacted by health research did not have a say in it. Several session organisers share their views on the new avenues that are explored to improve the link between health research and citizens. Read more [...]

Health Policy

The shift towards prevention or wellness has now been operated a few years ago in health policy. Particularly in the field of chronic diseases, which is the focus of our independent coverage in this issue and of a campaign orchestrated by the REIsearch project. This has led to a number of policy experiments over time. As yet, there is no magic bullet to entice people to try and take greater care of their health. It appears that a combination of voluntary actions by citizens, with prevention campaigns from interested groups, and regulations can help. But too much of any of these ingredients may affect the fragile dynamic between them. Read more [...]

Human nature thwarts wellness

As Easter is looming, some of us already know that eating large amounts of chocolate eggs will be too much of a temptation to resist. This Easter chocolate binge is symptomatic of our approach to health. And to preventing chronic diseases that may affect us later in life. Until we actually see the damage done by such often irresponsible behaviour, we are not going to change. Clearly, we are our own worst enemies, when it comes to keeping ourselves in good health and taking preventative steps. Read more [...]

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More and better data for greater health

Data is the currency of today’s digital economy. Collected, analysed and moved across the globe, personal data has acquired enormous economic significance, with the value of European citizens’ personal data on track to reach €1 trillion per year by 2020. If we want to better understand, manage, and prevent chronic diseases, then more and better data is vital. In particular, policy makers need data to inform their healthcare decisions and initiatives. Read more [...]

Sweet tooth: countering one of our most lethal addictions

Sugar is one of the next targets of health policy makers in Europe. It features as one of the ingredients in the latest food reformulation roadmap, just published by the European Commission. This ingredient has crept up in European diets unprecedented levels. As a result it could have serious consequences for the heath of European citizens, reflected in the increase of diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Today, sugar has become very political. And the debate rages on between those concerned for public health and those in favour of preserving consumer choice, avoiding nanny states interventions and protecting the food industry's market share. Read more [...]

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Diabetes prevention requires multiple concerted strategies

Diabetes is one of the largest global health emergencies of the 21st century. On a global scale, there are an estimated 415 million people aged 20-79 with diabetes. These include 193 million who are undiagnosed. A further 318 million adults with impaired glucose tolerance are also at high risk of developing the disease. In 2015 alone, diabetes and its related complications will have caused 5 million deathsand cost 12% of the global healthcare spend. How can we slow, stop, or reverse the diabetes epidemic? Read more [...]

June Andrews: policy support for dementia needs to be adequate

A better management of chronic illnesses such as dementia can be done by harnessing technological solutions. But this kind of innovative support cannot be used unless it respects the rights of people affected by the disease. In contrast, those close to dementia patients have a responsibility to adopt preventive steps to manage the disease. But this can only happen once governments implement adequate level of support. In this exclusive EuroScientist interview, June Andrews, director of the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling, in Scotland, UK, analyses the potential and the drawbacks of innovation for the 50 million people worldwide affected by this condition. Read more [...]

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Chronic diseases: citizens’ rights and responsibilities

Despite advances in our understanding of management and prevention, chronic diseases are still on the rise. By 2030, estimates point that an additional 52 million people will die from chronic diseases. Public healthcare systems are under strain, and their budgets are getting smaller. How can we reverse the chronic disease epidemic? First and foremost, citizens can help themselves. Some governments in Europe have already tried to encourage healthier lifestyle choices. Is promoting healthy lifestyles authoritarian? Or is a government that fails to do so guilty of neglect? Read more [...]

Chronic disease prevention using wearable technology: not that simple

Since the last decade, wearable technology moved from developers’ drawing boards to stores, with barely a whisper of disquiet about data privacy. Yet, the implications for data privacy should not be underestimated. There is growing interest in the potential of wearables to mitigate, treat or prevent chronic conditions which put a strain on health economies--ranging from chronic back pain or physical stress injuries to mental health issues like work-related stress. EuroScientist investigates how the latest regulatory framework could secure people's privacy as they strive to prevent chronic conditions through wearable technology. Read more [...]

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Innovation has a role to play in chronic diseases prevention

Thanks to advances in technology, the ubiquitous smartphone is not just a way to connect with friends. It also becomes a kind of “doctor in our pocket”. Health apps, wearable sensors and fitness trackers are all contributing towards ‘more and better data’ for monitoring everything from caloric intake to steps taken on a daily basis. If we want to better understand, manage, and prevent chronic diseases, then new technologies and innovations like these are vital. Read more [...]