Healthy aging and longevity do not always go hand in hand. If it is up to Google, they will change that. If you have not heard the news, Google has created a company that is going to focus on healthy aging and longevity.
Google recently revealed the launch of new arm of their company Calico, “a new company that will concentrate on wellness and well-being, in particular the challenge of aging and the many chronic medical conditions that may be part of the aging process”.
Larry Page,the CEO of Google, said: “Illness and aging affect all our families. With some longer term, moonshot thinking around healthcare and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives. It’s impossible to imagine anyone better than Art” one of the leading scientists, entrepreneurs and CEOs of our generation” to take this new venture forward.” Art said: “I’ve devoted much of my life to science and technology, with the goal of improving human health. Larry’s focus on outsized improvements has inspired me, and I’m tremendously excited about what’s next.”
The cover of TIME magazine said ” Can Google Solve Death?”
Google’s objective, it appears, is to find means to extend the human life-span and essentially fend off the aging process and the multiple disease that may occur.
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I was reading an article written by LESLIE KERNISAN, MD, MPH about this subject. Here is an excerpt from her article:
“Coincidentally, on the exact same day Physician’s First Watch directed me to a NEJM editorial, revealing that NEJM and the Harvard Company Review are teaming up on a job on Leading Healthcare Advancement.
Right here is the paragraph that specifically caught my eye:.
The wellness care area and business neighborhood today share a basic interest in discovering means to achieve greater value in wellness care. The utmost goal for both areas is to keep people healthy, avoid the persistent diseases that eat a large fraction of our wellness care dollars, make use of medical interventions appropriately and just when needed, and create a financially sustainable strategy to the delivery of health care. While we want to foster development and story treatments against condition, we also recognize that, whenever possible, avoidance of illness before it is established is the much better option.”
And therein lies the rub. Whether it’s Google or a high-powered collaboration between NEJM and HBR, everyone is enamored with the prevention and innovative cures.
Let’s avoid those pestering chronic conditions! Let’s cure aging!
Ah, spare me.
The problem of prevention.
Now, it’s not that I’m against prevention. I would love absolutely nothing better than to see most Americans living healthier lives, with even more exercise, much better consuming routines, less excessive weight, and less stress.
And obviously it will be a wonderful day when we become in fact able to treat or stop dreadful conditions such as Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s, or cancer.
When we constantly focus on cures and avoidance, where does that leave those of us– clinicians and patients– who are struggling to manage several chronic conditions and age-related difficulties?
Consider this: the most urgent health policy trouble of the next 10-20 years is the best ways to offer caring and efficient health care to the Medicare population, at a cost we can sustain. For most of them, it’s late for avoidance and treatments are not an option; either their bodies have actually already suffered damage from age and chronic illness, or a treatment is still being researched.
In shorts, for millions of Americans (consisting of those who are driving the bulk of healthcare expenses), the thorny issue is the best ways to provide better management of ongoing wellness problems, and of age-related difficulties.
I am in agreement with Dr Kernisan.
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Prevention of disease is obviously a major factor to healthy aging and longevity. We wish to avoid persistent ailments from getting worse, or at least slow the development of a disease. It is always the goal to decrease disabilities, so that individuals can live as independently and enjoy quality of life, for as long as possible. Wanting to prevent chronic medical illnesses and issues, includes addressing such issues as working to avoid falls in older adults with inadequate balance, or trying to avoid kidney failure or loss of eye sight in diabetics.
Of course,this would also address preventing unnecessary suffering of patients and the family caregiver. Dr. Kernisan went on to point out in her article “Illness and age-related declines are inevitably difficult for people, but we make things even harder due to our chaotic and uncoordinated healthcare system that remains unable to offer high-quality primary care and person-centered care to most patients.”
“For those of us interested in a maturing America, there are some cutting-edge health care models being established, some of which might get older individuals off the clinical merry-go-round. (Suggest NEJM and HBR set up an area on “Leading Health Care Innovation” focused on helping today’s Medicare populace.
However as far as I can tell, Google is not going to help me assist my clients and their households. Those people who advocate healthier eating habits as a remedy for our health care ills are not going to be much use to me either.
Should we be treating age as something to be cured, or fended off? Or should we roll up our sleeves and identify the best ways to better assistance seniors and households with the difficulties that many of them will cope with for several years?”
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Actually, we need both. Specifically even more of the latter.
Now who is ready to direct lots of money and brainpower to developments in age-related clinical caring rather than curing?
You can read Dr Kernison full article here