Why Our Future Health is important
Currently, despite advances in healthcare and medicine, large numbers of people in the UK still spend many years of their later life in poor health. Research suggests that currently 54% of people aged 65 or older live with two or more serious health conditions. By 2035, that figure is expected to rise to 68%.
Many of these conditions are common diseases, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and stroke. Health systems focus on treating them once they show symptoms. However, diseases often start in the body long before symptoms are detectable. It is a costly approach that leads to worse health outcomes.
With Our Future Health, researchers will be able to analyse data that will help them to identify more effective ways of tackling diseases. For example, they might discover a new test that detects cancer at an early stage, when it is easier to treat.
Together, we can develop more effective approaches to the prevention, earlier detection, and treatment of diseases.
How Our Future Health will support health research
The scale, depth and detail of Our Future Health will make it a world-leading resource for health research. The programme is designed to truly reflect the UK population, including groups of people that have previously been under-represented in health research.
Our Future Health may hold the key to hundreds of discoveries, such as:
- New signals that could be used to detect diseases much earlier than is currently possible, leading to new or improved screening and prevention programmes and earlier treatment.
- New ways to predict with better accuracy who is at higher risk of diseases and would benefit from faster access to screening and prevention interventions.
- More targeted or personalised treatments, tools and technologies to delay the onset of disease, or change the course of disease progression; to reduce disease risks; and more targeted ways to investigate diseases for people at higher risk.
How Our Future Health works
Find out more about how we’re helping health researchers to prevent, detect and treat diseases through Our Future Health.