Universities collaborate on prevention and health promotion research in new Medical Delta program

Eelkje Colmjon

Leiden University, LUMC, Health Campus The Hague, TU Delft, Erasmus MC, and Erasmus University will closely collaborate in a new scientific program in the area of prevention and health research. Medical Delta will provide funding for five years for the interdisciplinary scientific program Healthy Society in Medical Delta: lifestyle & prevention.

The goal of the joint research is to develop scientifically substantiated methods to improve the health of all Dutch people, starting with those with cardiovascular disease in their environment. The program will investigate which technological applications have a positive effect on health and disease prevention. The program is the sixteenth scientific program of Medical Delta and contributes to the broader approach to research on prevention and health within the Healthy Society Hub.

Increasing importance of prevention and health policy

With an aging society, the number of people with chronic diseases is also increasing. At the same time, health disparities between population groups remain significant. As the healthcare system comes under increasing pressure, the importance of prevention and a healthy lifestyle is growing, as is the need for scientific research and substantiation in this area. The scientific program Healthy Society in Medical Delta: lifestyle & prevention investigates which methods promote a healthy lifestyle, what smart technology is suitable for this purpose, and how this reduces the risk of chronic diseases.

The scientific program aims to improve the health and well-being of all population groups and reduce health disparities. This is achieved through interdisciplinary scientific research into disease prevention and health, with the help of citizen participation and personalized and digital health solutions.

Influence of debt and smoking family members on health

The program focuses, among other things, on people with cardiovascular disease. For them, lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, exercising more, or changing their diet, largely determine the course of the disease. The program investigates how environmental factors can promote health. It takes into account the role of the immediate environment and social and economic aspects that influence health, such as stress, loneliness, or debt.

The scientific program starts with two research projects. The first project aims to achieve sustainable behavior change in people with cardiovascular disease and their immediate environment. The second research line focuses on identifying ways in which environmental factors can increase the effectiveness of lifestyle interventions for people with cardiovascular disease and their loved ones.

Broader scientific approach for health and prevention

There is increasing attention for a broader and more integrated approach to health, which also includes well-being and living conditions. "That is why scientists from different disciplines are working together on integrated solutions for a healthier society in this scientific program," says prof. dr. Frank Willem Jansen, chairman of Medical Delta. "It thus provides the need for more scientific substantiation of the effectiveness of a broader approach. But also for more substantiation of the impact of technological applications such as smart health apps."

More information on the scientific program can be found here.

More information

Medical Delta is an interdisciplinary collaboration of more than 360 scientists from Erasmus University, Erasmus MC, Delft University of Technology, LUMC, Leiden University, and four universities of applied sciences in the province of South Holland. Together with businesses, healthcare institutions, and governments, they work on technological solutions for healthcare. Medical Delta does this through sixteen interdisciplinary scientific programs and practical field and living labs. Medical Delta thus forms the hub of the Health & Technology ecosystem in South Holland and beyond. See also https://www.medicaldelta.nl.

More information about the Healthy Society Hub, a collaboration between Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Universities and Medical Delta, can be found here.

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