14.03.2019 | Rea­ding time: 10 Minu­ten

Health maintenance vs. disease management

Do you know the key to endu­ring health – or in simp­ler terms, how to stay healt­hy?

In ever­y­day life, both public and pri­va­te, as well as in the medi­cal sec­tor, the focus is nor­mal­ly on the ill­ness. How can we cure it, how can we deal with it, how does it limit our abi­li­ty to live a nor­mal life. This approach reminds one of a repair work­shop. When some­thing gets bro­ken, fix it, or replace it or, as a last resort, throw it away. Repai­ring things is essen­ti­al­ly a good idea, but wouldn’t it be much bet­ter to redu­ce wear and tear and stop things from brea­king down in the first place?

Dr. med. Jens Här­tel being inter­view­ed

In indus­try, for examp­le in the auto­mo­bi­le, aero­nau­tics or manu­fac­tu­ring indus­tries, sys­te­ma­tic and con­ti­nuous invest­ment in the main­ten­an­ce of machi­nes and trans­port equip­ment is taken for gran­ted. But what’s the situa­ti­on in the health­ca­re indus­try?

In most cases, we don’t start bothe­ring about our health until we expe­ri­ence some kind of sym­ptoms or until the disea­se has beco­me evi­dent, ins­tead of sys­te­ma­ti­cal­ly mini­mi­sing health risks at an ear­ly sta­ge. We should iden­ti­fy tho­se fac­tors in our dai­ly lives that con­tri­bu­te to pos­si­ble ill­nes­ses and find out how we can coun­ter­act the­se in a posi­ti­ve way. That is what kee­ping healt­hy is all about.

Health maintenance, both in detail and in general 

Per­so­nal­ly, when I think about kee­ping healt­hy, I think of a socie­ty which is not only focus­sed on trea­ting disea­ses but which takes a holistic approach, loo­king at the indi­vi­du­al in the con­text of his or her day-to-day life. I see healt­hy peop­le and chro­ni­cal­ly sick peop­le who are no lon­ger redu­ced sim­ply to their ill­ness or their sub­jec­tive health con­di­ti­on.

Don’t we all want to live a hap­py and care­free life? For my part, I exer­ci­se, pay atten­ti­on to what I buy and eat a healt­hy diet. This means that I, like mil­li­ons of other peop­le, pay atten­ti­on to tho­se fac­tors which make me less pro­ne to disea­se and which help me stay healt­hy. Nevertheless, I can­not say pre­cise­ly what effect each of the­se fac­tors has on my health and what con­se­quen­ces my beha­viour has in this respect, eit­her. So what exac­t­ly does make the important dif­fe­rence?

In coope­ra­ti­on with sci­en­ti­fic part­ners and using an evi­dence-based approach, Vilua has com­mit­ted its­elf to fin­ding out what fac­tors do actual­ly help indi­vi­du­als to stay  healt­hy.

Dr. med. Jens Här­tel 

Acquire – assess – advise

At Vilua, we focus not on ill­nes­ses, but on life befo­re, during and after an ill­ness – on hel­ping peop­le to stay healt­hy ins­tead of wai­ting until they actual­ly beco­me ill.

The Care­Cen­ter is our solu­ti­on. It ser­ves as a link bet­ween health and ill­ness. At the Care­Cen­ter, peop­le are obser­ved and exami­ned from many dif­fe­rent per­spec­tives and their con­di­ti­on is recor­ded, mea­su­red and ana­ly­sed as com­pre­hen­si­ve­ly as pos­si­ble in order to pro­vi­de the best pos­si­ble advice. One essen­ti­al aspect of our work is to acqui­re and amal­ga­ma­te health data at a much ear­lier sta­ge. Com­pa­ra­ti­ve anony­mi­sed data records help us to detect new fac­tu­al rela­ti­ons­hips and, sup­por­ted by AI, to iden­ti­fy indi­ca­tors which can help peop­le to stay healt­hy. Our mis­si­on is to regard the human indi­vi­du­al as a who­le, offer com­pre­hen­si­ve check-ups and give indi­vi­du­al and evi­dence-based advice on the basis of the data acqui­red. This crea­tes the actu­al added value – both for the indi­vi­du­al as well as for socie­ty.

Giving health a new meaning 

Of cour­se peop­le will con­ti­nue to fall ill. The doc­tor con­ti­nues to play a legi­ti­ma­te role in our socie­ty. Nevertheless, our soci­al and health­ca­re sys­tems are facing a major tran­si­ti­on: from a sys­tem which com­bats disea­se to one which seeks to main­tain health. The pro­fes­si­on of phy­si­ci­an will increa­singly chan­ge to that of a health gui­de who iden­ti­fies indi­vi­du­al ways of remai­ning healt­hy but also app­lies necessa­ry the­ra­pies as usu­al, howe­ver at a much ear­lier sta­ge, and then fol­lows up this tre­at­ment.

The poten­ti­al of a health main­ten­an­ce eco­no­my is at least as lar­ge as the costs of the cur­rent sys­tem. Invest­ments made at an ear­ly sta­ge in people’s health will soon bring noti­ce­ab­le sustainab­le suc­cess, and high ensuing costs will be avoi­ded. I see Vilua as a van­guard in this new move­ment. With our com­pe­ten­ci­es und solu­ti­ons, we always regard the human being as a who­le. Vilua will give health a new mea­ning.

Find out more about health main­ten­an­ce at Vilua