Feb 17, 2009
By: Alvaro Fernandez
Hiroshi Komiyama, President of the University of Tokyo and Chairperson of the Global Agenda Council on the Challenges of Gerontology I am a member of, just provided council members with a brief update of his participation in the recent World Economic Forum.
Part of the proceedings are public — you may enjoy reading this panel write-up of the session Healthcare under Stress:
- “Japan has the world’s oldest population. Health and longevity create wealth and, thus, “health begets wealth”. It is documented that nations that develop a five-year life expectancy advantage also create a larger GDP. A healthy childhood and adulthood contribute to a more productive old age. New markets and industries are arising – “silver industries” such as financial services, health, housing and hospitality geared to senior citizens. Longevity needs to be linked to health – including cognitive health – and lifestyle choices play a major role in health.”
- “The public health focus is shifting from infections to cardiovascular diseases. Complex new models are necessary to develop better responses and improved health – with the primary emphasis on “really good primary healthcare” and prevention – to lower costs. Prevention increases the healthy years of a person’s life. The challenge is creating the incentive for prevention: how can people be encouraged to make healthy choices? Mobilized populations can drive the change. Finland has an 80% lower incidence of heart disease than 30 years ago due to such incentives.”
Full write-up: Healthcare under Stress