Experts explore how technology can promote healthier standards of living and prevent diseases

Discover how technology can revolutionize healthy living and disease prevention in this insightful article. Experts share innovative designs that promote healthier standards of living, from stairs that play music to shade spots with free WiFi. Dive into the discussion by prominent individuals, including Dr. Kristina Curtis and Prof. Agnès Buzyn, on creative approaches to behavior change. Explore the potential of citizen-centric data platforms and genomic profiles in revolutionizing healthcare systems. Uncover the role of innovation, trust, and digital health tools in transforming healthcare practices. Gain valuable insights on involving patients and striking a balance between behavior influence and individual freedoms. Explore real-world examples from France and Helsinki in utilizing technology for proactive health alerts and empowering citizens.

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Would you climb the stairs if every step played a note or rest under the shade if that provided free WiFi? Some of these innovative environmental and technology designs have been used to promote healthier standards of living.


Dr. Kristina Curtis, a lecturer from the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change, Prof. Agnès Buzyn, of WHO Academy, Isabelle Kumar, former news anchor and campaigner for disability rights and several other prominent individuals discussed creative approaches to behaviour change at the HIMS22 European Conference on 15 June.

Could nations create a healthcare system where health is assumed? "queried Kas," "Because it's so interwoven, it thinks for me." We Are, a citizen-centric data platform will soon be launched in Flanders, Belgium, to give patients control over their health data.

Kas told delegates, "If we want a healthy population, we must accept that health is holistic." Health includes genome, environment, lifestyle, and social determinants. When your parents die and your postcode will determine your age.


Kas called Christian Erikson's cardiac arrest at the 2020 European Championships "absolutely crazy" because we have the technology to prevent it.

Kas asked, "If genomic profiles can predict who will have a cardiac arrest, why aren't nations providing it?" "It's unethical not to because we can implant a defibrillator that turns on if my heart stops beating."

Kas says healthcare systems can best encourage behavioural change through innovation that creates delight. Kas advised, "Don't worry about technology or what to implement first." To get the best results, think about how to delight citizens, patients, or customers, then find the right technology.


Healthcare professionals' behaviour must change for innovation to work. Prof Agnès Buzyn directs the WHO Academy, a learning centre that aims to innovate adult learning in global health. The 2024 centre in France will train healthcare professionals in digital health topics like cybersecurity and ethics.

"We can train health professionals to use digital health tools to adapt their practice and give them incentives," said Prof. Buzyn. Citizens and professionals must trust digital health tools. The government should build trust among citizens.

France built two digital health tools to improve healthcare and public health, according to Buzyn. Mon Espace Santé, launched this year, allows French citizens to access and manage their health data. Buzyn said, "This is very helpful." "Citizens co-created its ethical framework."


France launched a health data hub to collect health information from hospitals and the insurance system for health research, eHealth, and public health.

Dr. Kristina Curtis, senior behaviour change consultant and lecturer, at UCL Centre for Behaviour Change, said patients should be involved from the start.

“It's about understanding from a user's perspective what's important to them and getting their feedback,” she said. "To change behaviour, we must understand its motivators. It's not enough to educate or diagnose something like pre-diabetes."


Dr. Curtis said it's important to strike a balance between influencing citizens' behaviour and limiting individual freedoms. “There must be a balance between environmental changes or behavioural nudges like health architecture and allowing people to make informed choices about their behaviour and supporting them to change their behaviours at multiple layers, ” she said.

Locally, Helsinki Mayor Juhana Vartiainen said civic leaders should encourage behaviour change with other stakeholders. "We're very aware and can change people's behaviour."

Helsinki is part of the WHO Healthy Cities Network, which promotes health and wellbeing by providing healthy school dinners and safe bike lanes. Vartiainen says Helsinki wants to improve data use. "We're considering using data to proactively alert people with certain conditions."

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