I’m amazed when I think of the gains we’ve made in extending the human life span. Unfortunately, with the increase in Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes and more, living longer doesn’t necessarily mean living “better.”
It doesn’t have to be this way. We need to find ways to narrow the gap between how long we live and how well we live. New technology, improved analytics and consumer engagement offer ways to get there. But we should also consider creative partnerships that span a wide range of organizations from both the public and private sectors and a wide range of industries.
We need to come together, not locally or regionally, but globally. Creating the right environment for collaboration requires the following elements:
1. A shared vision
Different stakeholder groups bring unique skills or resources. These can include:
- Innovation, such as new technologies that allow the cost-effective management of diseases related to aging
- Data that, when analyzed, can demonstrate value
- Capital that can manage the financial risks associated with new technology
- Deployment plans that can be scaled to make a real impact
2. Metrics that define optimal health
To create dynamic, cross-sector partnerships, stakeholders will want to build a foundation based on healthy aging metrics that define optimal health at an individual level.
Metrics can and should be based on a combination of genetic and environmental information, as well as an individual’s health goals and his or her ability to make healthy decisions.
Benchmarks that define healthy aging have the power to fortify creative partnerships, especially those created to improve health outcomes for some of the most prevalent and costly non-communicable diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease.