Diseases in Thoughts from the Centre
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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.
We often see headlines ranking cities on specific health-impacting measures such as air quality or commuting time, or highlighting regional differences in health outcomes, but rarely do we get a comprehensive picture of a city’s health and wellbeing.
In our report Working differently to improve early diagnosis, which we published late last year, we highlighted the importance of early detection and diagnosis of disease and that from the patient’s point of view, early detection and diagnosis not only prevents unnecessary pain and suffering, it can also reduce the scale and cost of treatment.