lets champion evidence based health restoration
With an increasing number of people living ever longer, there is a growing need to help patients as they recover from illness and move back to Wellness. On any measure we’re living longer, but across the globe there is a growing number of people suffering from multiple illnesses (co-morbidities) for which they are on medication. As differing diseases vary widely by Country the solutions to reduce ill-health have many components. The clues to identifying appropriate solutions will vary across diet, lifestyle and environmental factors. Some diseases are biased towards being Country specific but the cause is usually far from being solely location driven.
There is a growing movement towards distributed health care to keep patients longer, where possible, in the familiarity of their own home. There is significant evidence that patients are happier in their home surroundings amongst their close family and it’s also more cost effective for all.
But restorative medicine is not a new idea, as Hippocrates said “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. In days’ past diet was an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Maybe, Hippocrates wasn’t referring to our current, sugar laden diet, which is driving the increasing cost burden of many modern diseases. Our food gets from field to fork ever quicker, but has suffered from the decades long reduction in nutritional content. To meet the requirement for ever cheaper food, it is now more industrially processed, and eaten faster, than ever before. However, our ability to satisfy the never ending demand for cheaper food has of course, to come, at a price. Making food more readily available and affordable is a challenge without simple solutions.
However, it’s not just food that has a major effect on modern disease. There is a growth in adverse drug effects (ADEs) which are found in 35% of ambulatory older people [Hanlon et al.1997] and in around two thirds of nursing home residents [Cooper, 1999]. Across medicine, new disciplines are emerging such as in the area of ‘de-prescribing’ experts who will become increasingly active in restorative medicine. By use of ever more accurate technology it’s likely that such experts will be able to track precise patient activity and especially in adverse drug effects but often carried out remotely from a hospital setting.
A generation ago it would have taken many months or even years to gain feedback on a medicine deployed amongst the public, nowadays it can take just days or weeks due to the widespread adoption of social media. With the increasing reach of technology we can connect ever further to help in restorative medicine – there are few more important, or enjoyable, goals to achieve.