Today’s technologies help to develop effective tools to keep people healthy

On the 14th March Estonian health technology cluster Connected Health, led by Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol, organized an international healthcare event “From Sick Care to Health Care.” In the seminar was recognized that today’s modern technologies help to develop effective tools for healthcare.

„The amount of chronic and lifestyle diseases increases, but most of these illnesses are preventable by changing habits such as doing sports, eating healthy food, taking care of one’s mental wellness and by reducing the consumption of dangerous chemicals.  Still prevention is not easy and requires self-discipline, motivation and support of other people. Luckily, today’s knowledge and technologies about behavioural psychology allows us to develop effective health care solutions. And in several cases even there is no need for a technological tool, but good will and innovative idea might help,“ said the head of Connected Health cluster and the event organizer Külle Tärnov.

“Preventing people getting ill and escalating chronic diseases helps healthcare systems save a lot of money and at the same time keep people more productive which is better for our economy,“ said Tärnov. She described, that in Denmark the topic of prevention is trusted to local governments with 262 practical recommendations for the 11 prevention fields provided by Danish state – for example how to prevent bad effect for kids from alcohol consumption by their parents or teachers. Danes have also implemented longer school days with at least one physically active hour inside their timetables.

French company eBIODY presented a device based on bio-impedance technology, which makes it possible for everyone to measure their body structure (the consistency of water, fats, protein and bone mass). Knowing that information it’s easier to prevent more than 10 diseases.

Mobile application Serenita from Israel, showed that it’s possible to reduce one’s stress about 30% in 3 minutes, which actually enhances most of the chronic diseases.

“Dr Thomas Wilkens showed the bad side of today’s healthcare: we have 30.000 illnesses in the world, but today we know how to treat only 3.000 of them. Misdiagnosis is very common and it’s likely that everyone gets at least one misdiagnosis during his or her life. Today’s medicines are made to suit for majority, which is unfortunately means minor real treating effect for most. Luckily the computers are able to process huge amounts of data and this has opened us a door to precision medicine.  This way it’s possible to put the exact diagnosis and treatment for a concrete person. It also helps to save money. Prof Wilkens company InnVentis is developing first precision medicine solutions, which focus on rheumatoid arthritis,” said Tärnov.

Külle Tärnov added that Jackie Marshall-Cyrus made participants think about the words they use and what’s the impact of the terms used. For example, how to define a person who is called “elderly.” Who of us wants to be called „elderly“? The speaker brought out that the growing problem in the UK is that sexually transmitted diseases spread among 55+much more than among young. Should we develop different products and services according to people’s age or interests?

During the day participants came out with 100 ideas, which might be used for prevention in Estonia. Some examples: deploy sport breaks and 15-minute naps at work, instead of softdrinks machines at schools give water for free, while teaching children healthy habits involve their parents as well, use TV and socialmedia channels to communicate how to prevent cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases and so on.

Seminar „From Sick Care to Health Care“ took place on the 14th of March in Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol. About 100 participants from different fields took part – entrepreneurs, medical and health technology students, doctors, representatives of public sector and others. The seminar brought together experts and healthcare enthusiasts from all over Europe – Denmark, Israel, UK, Germany, France and others.