The interdisciplinary research programme Smarter Choices for Better Health has three goals:
Help people to live longer healthier lives
Following major developments in molecular biology, computer science, micro-electronics, radio physics and many other areas, health care has acquired a much greater impact on the average person’s life over the past fifty years. As a result, health and life expectancy have considerably improved. However, many deaths could have been avoided. There is still a lot of ground to make up, particularly among socio-economically deprived groups.
This goal is connected to Action line 1 Incentivizing prevention
Keep health care affordable and accessible in the long term
Improved health care and an ageing population mean rising costs. Financial incentives from health insurers also contribute to an increase in the number of treatments. Investments in prevention, which could limit health care costs, are lagging behind. Without effective intervention, there is the risk that health care will become unaffordable in the long run. It is therefore vital that we examine how we can achieve the best results for the health of as many people as possible with limited resources.
This goal is connected to Action line 2 How to maximize value in health care? and Action line 3 Evaluation of Health Care: improving benefit assessment.
Increased equality in health
Although health care is becoming accessible to a growing number of people, there are still huge differences. This is very clear at the global level, with enormous discrepancies between the West and the developing countries. Less conspicuous, however, are the significant differences between population groups within Western countries. To reduce these differences, it is important to examine what the main causes of the differences in health are. Can differences be reduced by focusing more on preventive health care, for example?
This goal is connected to Action line 4 Equity impact of health policies.