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Promoting self-care and patient empowerment is a critical chal- with new approaches for interpretation, such as the application of lenge to be addressed in the near future if we are to succeed in re- mathematical models and statistics. Integrity of these biobanks and lieving pressure on the healthcare sector. An increasing amount of ethics approval by relevant bodies is of outmost importance. As research activity focuses on mobile health (mHealth) solutions. An a result of earlier signifi cant investments, Europe currently boasts emerging technology, mHealth (wireless healthcare) can change some of the most valuable population and patient cohorts avail- how a person’s health may be monitored. Some examples are able, as well as some of the most extensive biobanks in existence wireless Band-Aids, wireless sensors, remote health monitoring, pill worldwide. The value of these tools, however, is rapidly lost if they containers that remind patients to take prescribed medicine, and are not adequately maintained, updated, and expanded. There devices that measure fi tness. Smartphone’s with medical apps are is an urgent need to integrate these advances in order to work useful new tools that empower patients, physicians, and health care toward development of a new molecular redefi nition of diseases employees to become more effi cient in their daily activities and (taxonomy) by 2020. Part of this topic is enhanced use of patient communication. Further effort toward “digitizing” as much of the stratifi cation. Although a considerable number of novel biomark- health care process as possible is warranted. This issue also calls ers, including lab tests, imaging, genetic testing etc. are currently for the increased use of Information and Communication Technol- available, our understanding of them is incomplete at present and ogy (ICT) in people’s/patients’ homes, in clinical workplaces, in the we have yet to exploit their true potential for better prevention and management of institutions, and among healthcare professionals patient treatment. Animal models are important with appropriate across disciplines and sectors. Insilico medicine is the modelling, quality and relevant research questions as prerequisite. These mod- simulation, and visualisation of biological and medical processes els can refi ne design to secure relevance to health and have the on computers and is the result of the advance of medical computer opportunity to back translate questions from clinical practice. science over the last 20 years. The largest impact of insilico medi- cine may come not just from simulation, but also from a broader Preventive medicine is of obvious importance. Knowledge to help range of computational efforts to improve disease management the population to live a healthy life through education and behav- and prediction. ioural science by infl uencing the remedies will reduce the harm of chronic diseases in all age and assure a healthier population and Nanomedicine and synthetic biology are emerging technologies, infl uence economy in a signifi cant positive way. This also entails which are quickly establishing themselves as key enabling technolo- putting greater emphasis on applying do-it-yourself (DIY) medical gies. These are promising approaches to realise the vision of a monitoring and services recognising that they are an essential bio-based European economy through research and innovation as part of preventing and predicting personal health risks before they well as to delivering competitive and sustainable growth in Europe. evolve into real health problems in need of treatment. Scientifi cally Development and optimization of artifi cial, bioartifi cial and tissue- responsible medical community aiming to pave the way for promo- engineered organs are related to this. tion of public health is central. TASKS FOR CONSIDERATION IN HORIZON 2020: Multidisciplinary research is essential for a healthy aging from Europe should lead the establishment of a fundamental reinterpre- conception to old age, including focus on developmental disorders. tation of how to approach healthcare by pursuing personalised This face the challenge of improving access to active aging in order medicine. This approach, when appropriately implemented will for senior citizens to live healthy and independent lives. Self-care give much better outcomes for a given health care spend. The and empowerment using mHealth are essential issues. Furthermore transition from the long established one-size-fi ts-all approach to a it is important to translate the knowledge into sustainable commu- new healthcare strategy based on individual biological phenotypes nity-based programmes to minimize physical disability and reduce (genomic, proteomic and metabolomic profi les, including epigenet- the burden of musculoskeletal conditions. ics), will provide an opportunity and a framework in which the cur- rent structure of healthcare will be transformed based on advances Neuroscience will be of vital importance for the development of in molecular understanding and redefi nition of diseases. This para- more effective treatments for age-related cognitive changes and digm shift is dependent upon obtaining a detailed description of neurological diseases, e.g. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease individual biological variation in connection with the environmen- plus improving the woeful impact we currently have on life-long tal, societal, and lifestyle factors that infl uence the development of disorders such as schizophrenia and depression. With the rising disease. To achieve this, enormous wide range of biological sam- number of elderly in Europe, neurological diseases and sensory ples and patient-relevant data must be collected, catalogued, and impairment represent important challenges when it comes to reach- stored in biobanks. The data must then be interpreted and linked ing the overall vision for health laid out here. HEALTH 25


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