The 21st century has profoundly changed our relationship with health, leading us to a so-called 4P medicine, i.e., predictive, preventive, personalized and participative. This new model aims to take into account the singularity of patients in order to predict and prevent certain pathologies through a lifestyle oriented towards well-being and empowerment of patients with the aim of becoming actors of their own health.
A worrying rise in chronic diseases
For the past 30 years, the number of patients suffering from chronic diseases has been increasing. Because these diseases are responsible for 11% of mortality among people under 65 in Europe (2016 figures), there is an urgent need to address this public health problem. Presumably, lifestyle is the main factor in the development of these long-term conditions. Indeed, malnutrition, lack of physical activity and smoking are leading to this increase in chronic diseases, including heart disease, cardiovascular accidents, diabetes and some cancers.
In addition, with the decline in the number of occupational health physicians, companies are encountering major difficulties in monitoring the health of their employees, which prevents them from diagnosing and treating staff’s problems directly.
The importance of preventive medicine
Preventive medicine then appears as a considerable lever capable of responding to this problem. Preventing certain pathologies becomes possible thanks to new telemedicine solutions. Indeed, medical assistance can be used to anticipate the onset of many diseases through diagnosis and regular monitoring of patients.
Still today, practices adopted to prevent patients from being affected by a disease are those of vaccination and screening. Prevention, which is on the news headlines (with Covid-19), is a widespread approach to avoid and fight against certain diseases through regular patient follow-up, as much at a medical level through examinations as in terms of diet, physical activity or mental health. However, prevention can be quite costly.
Prevention is better than cure
Nevertheless, as they say, \”better be safe than cured\”; the preventive approach will always cost less than the curative one, from a purely financial point of view but also from a human one in regard to psychological, family and even professional consequences that chronic diseases can cause. The cost of prevention is therefore lower than the cost of curative treatments. It is important to emphasize that most chronic diseases can be avoided, which is a good reason to encourage preventive medicine. Digital solutions exist to help companies strengthen their health prevention strategy.
Recently, organizations, whether public or private, have started to develop services related to telemedicine Most of these companies are stepping up their efforts to promote health among their staff, which becomes a key element of improving the well-being of all employees. In addition, most States support the development of telemedicine solutions that allow for the prevention of chronic diseases (diabetes, hypertension, etc.) and the continuous monitoring of vulnerable or isolated patients. These solutions also provide communities and organizations of the medical and pharmaceutical world with consolidated statistical data on a global scale of the evolution of diseases and the population’s health. Many of us already have a connected object such as a smart watch, a tablet or a smartphone. These devices have the ability through an ingenious mix of technology and artificial intelligence to prevent certain diseases even before symptoms appear. Virtual health and wellness assistants already exist and the growing advancement of the industry is leading to rapid developments in technology.
For people with reduced mobility, remote monitoring represents a real opportunity to get a better follow-up and maintain a link with their doctor. Similarly, teleconsultations are a complement to traditional consultations with the possibility to talk to a general physician through videoconference.
Preventive medicine brings other positive points, including a strong decrease in the use of medication. This is due to the strengthening of our body by applying recommendations given by preventive medicine, but also to the early detection of serious forms of diseases requiring extensive treatments. Thus, by being regularly screened and by adopting beneficial habits for our well-being, these practices allow us to quickly identify potential occurrences of chronic diseases; frequent pathologies such as cancer or cardiovascular risks can be put back and sometimes even completely eliminated with prevention and early detection.
While it is sometimes difficult to regularly visit a doctor because of the time it takes between trips and long waits, today telemedicine has changed this situation. With the constant development of technology, remote consultations and curative care are becoming possible. Moreover, with the Covid-19, it is mandatory to adapt to security measures, which leads to the improvement of e-health techniques. As a result, the relationship between practitioners and patients becomes easier and more accessible.
These new approaches to medicine open many new opportunities on the preventive and predictive aspect of diagnosis.
Bodyo is one of those forward-thinking players that are investing heavily in the evolution of modern medicine. Its primary goal is to help people to gain access to basic healthcare, and especially to prevent them from developing chronic conditions. This is why these actors are so involved in artificial intelligence research that will meet people\’s need to improve their daily lives. The goal is for everyone to be able to manage their own health, get organized to improve it and be motivated to learn how to live better by following advice on preventing sleep and eating disorders, stress, etc. It is by helping people to regularly self-assess themselves on vital indicators with intuitive, innovative and human technologies that this goal will be achieved.
Michaël Butacide – Tom Gauquelin – Rova Lam Kon Seng – Axel Martens – Abkar Toumasian