Diseases in Thoughts from the Centre
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by Mark Steedman, PhD
This week is World Glaucoma Week, aimed at raising awareness around glaucoma – a group of eye diseases that lead to damage to the optic nerve and can cause permanent vision loss. World Glaucoma Week encourages people to have regular eye checks to detect glaucoma (and other eye diseases) early and pursue treatment to preserve their vision.1
Discussing a long standing health concern is difficult for anyone. However, men have a more difficult time in firstly realising they may have a health issue and secondly discussing it in an open way which would benefit their treatment. Crucial to improving the long term health of men is increasing public education on often understated issues in men’s health, and fostering an environment in which health issues can be discussed openly and without ridicule. This week’s blog, by Amen Sanghera, one of two analysts here at the centre, looks into the issues men have regarding discussing health concerns and the work charities, such as Movember, do to raise awareness for key issues in men’s health.
World Alzheimer’s Day, held every year on 21 September, is an opportunity for organisations and individuals around the world to raise awareness, highlight issues faced by people affected by dementia and explores how to help people live well with dementia. Globally, dementia is one of the biggest challenges we face, with nearly 50 million people living with dementia; a number is growing by 10 million every year (or a new case every three seconds).1 Moreover, an increasing number of surveys show that dementia is the most feared disease amongst adults. However, it is possible to live well with the condition if the needs of people with dementia are upheld and dementia continues to be recognised as a public health priority.2 Tackling the global challenge of dementia requires investment in research, effective collaboration and a willingness to adopt evidence based good practice. This week Deloitte and the Alzheimer’s society hosted a panel discussion on dementia which I was privileged to participate in. Given the importance of the subject, I’m using this week’s blog to share the content of my presentation to help maintain the profile of this unrelenting challenge which touches most people’s lives in some way.
We’ve often written blogs about the adoption of innovation and how innovation and technology is helping to support healthcare providers to work differently but it can often feel a little remote to our everyday experiences. This week I’m delighted to share with you a blog written by one of our Monitor Deloitte colleagues who took a sabbatical in late 2015 from her role as a Strategy Consultant in order to support the development of micro-enterprises in rural Nicaragua.
Last November our report on Health and Life Science Predictions 2020: a bold future? generated a great deal of interest and enquiry and in the intervening months I have discussed these predictions at numerous sector events, from individual client workshops to high profile sector conferences. Given the pace of change in healthcare, the predictions remain completely prescient however, using the feedback received and on-going tracking of developments, I thought I would use this final blog of 2015 to highlight some of my key healthcare predictions for 2016.
The number of people being diagnosed with and surviving cancer is increasing every year. As of 2015, an estimated 2.5 million people are living with cancer in the UK, an increase of 400,000 people in just five years.
Last weekend the Prime Minister (PM) launched his second ‘challenge on dementia’ a five year vision aimed at positioning England as the best country in the world for dementia care and research by 2020[i]. The PM’s 2020 challenge is set against a backdrop of a growing body of evidence on the profound impact dementia is having on society (the Centre’s blog published late last year detailed the latest evidence on the scale and extent of the dementia challenge). While it celebrates the significant progress made to date it also acknowledges that much more still needs to be done.
My interest in finding out more about Ebola was sparked by colleagues writing for the US Center for Health Solutions - The Ebola outbreak: A call to action for a translational approach to R&D.i This article contrasts the traditional approach to pharmaceutical research and development (R&D)- which can typically take 17 to 23 years to bring a new drugs to market - with a more translational approach to R&D which makes more effective use of the exponential rise of big data and analytics and speeds up the time of the whole process.
The theme of the World Health Day in April 2014 was vector-borne diseases- ‘Small Bite: Big Threat’. For many people this conjured up thoughts of Malaria, Dengue or West Nile Virus but, few people in the UK are aware that the UK’s most common vector-borne human infection is Lyme disease.[i]
Across the UK, prostate cancer kills one man every hour (or 10,636 every year) and is the most common cancer in men. Indeed, 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year and currently there are 255,000 men living with and after the disease.[i] In the UK prostate cancer survival rates are below the European average and quality of care can depend on where you live.