Predictive Health-care may not be a household term quiet yet, but basically this new, emerging way of delivering health-care in the US focuses on predicting health as opposed to waiting for disease to begin.
The Challenge of “Measuring Health”
Health is commonly defined as the absence of disease symptoms, and it is disease symptoms that are commercially relevant. However, physical symptoms are only the last stage in the progression of Illness, thus Preventive- or Predictive Health has to necessarily identify any degradation in Holistic Health, or what we call Vitality. Whole Health consists of 6 interweaving elements: Physical – Mental – Emotional – Spiritual – Social – Intellectual Health. As Physical Illness is usually the final manifestation of an Emotional Trauma, treating the Physical Symptom is only a temporary fix. In the attempt to forestall Physical Illness we need to identify the potential cause for the loss of Vitality and Lifestyle is the usual culprit. By Lifestyle we mean the person’s intentional choices such as Nutrition and Activities, and circumstantial factors, such as Environmental Exposure, History, Believes, Social Integration, etc.
Conventional Health-care is not concerned with these intertwining Mind-Body issues, because the medical science consensus neither extends to analytical methods nor the interpretation of results. The generally accepted medical standard for diagnosing disease rests on sample collection, which can be reduced to numerical values, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, body fat, bone density and various biomarkers.
In Predictive Health such samples and methods may be used, but in presumed healthy people, these “disease markers” just resemble a snap shot of a condition at the time of sample collection. If all results check out in the “Normal” range, a person is considered physically healthy, even when all 5 non-physical health elements are compromised. In such case, a physical symptom has just not yet established itself measurably.
Vitality can be defined as the sum of all 6-elements that comprise Health. A person, who has thus been classified physically healthy, may completely lack Vitality, if any of the non-physical elements is reduced; while we may perceive a person to have great Vitality, if all health elements are in harmony.
What is needed is a process that measures Vitality as the sum of all Health elements. As Vitality is a volatile condition, we cannot rely on static samples to predict a person’s susceptibility to contract any disease, nor can we recommend a Nutritional concept or Lifestyle modification based on static numericals, such as cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose and insulin. Instead, we have to dynamically monitor how well a person copes with lifestyle specific conditions that include various degrees of stress and rest, and we have to measure cellular function under changing situations. We want to assess the wear and tear that the body has undergone to date.
These Test results portray a person’s strengths and vulnerabilities incorruptibly and reproducibly. When correlated with the person’s history, lifestyle and personal objectives, a Lifestyle optimization program can be generated that does not rely on prescription drugs.
Why choose Predictive Health?
A Japanese “Attitude Survey on Health and Preparation” (November 1, 2010; Hello-Global.com) states that 69.4% of the respondents “are worried about their future health”. In the US we are seeing sustained increase in growth rates for Organic Foods even in a recession? The statistics furnish the evidence that people are awaking to the fact that protecting health is better than recovering from illness. The leading market research and information analysis company RNCOS Press Release of October 29, 2010 reveals that the US Organic Food Industry will orchestrate 12.2% CAGR during 2010-2014. North American market growth for Organic Personal Care products amounts to 20% annually, according to Organic Monitor.
“Even in the midst of the economic downturn, the Gym, Health & Fitness Clubs industry has maintained steady growth, with membership rates growing consistently and profits remaining solid. Demand for gyms and health and fitness clubs will continue to rise over the next five years, as the general public becomes more health conscious and the aging population places a greater value on staying fit” – According to IBIS World Industry Report of September 17, 2010. Merriman Curhan Ford, Fitness & Wellness Industry Report predicts US sales of Health and Wellness goods to reach $ 170 billion by 2012, a growth of 70% in 5 years. Gym memberships for people over 50 will rise even more dramatic over the next 10 years with a target market potential of 139.2 million people by 2020; according to Capital Connection, March 2010 Newsletter. The Nutritional Supplements market in the US will exceed $13 billion in 2014, yielding a compound annual growth rate of 7%; says Market Resaearch.com, in September 2, 2010 Press Release.