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Competence Centre on Foresight

We foster a strategic, future-oriented and anticipatory culture in the EU policymaking process.


Potential Implications on Shifting Health Challenges


Access to quality health care should be a basic human right.

  • Policies to address practices, prices, and research priorities of the pharmaceutical industry are needed.
  • Public funding for basic research should increase, to ensure expansion of responsible and socially-needed innovation. This not only has the potential to lead to new discoveries, but also to keep basic research oriented towards being beneficial to the world and independent of corporate or special groups' interest.
  • It is imperative to find new antibiotic class(es); therefore support for basic research in that domain should increase.

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Priority should increase for prevention and early detection of diseases rather than cure of the symptoms.

  • Use of AI and big data to identify trends in health by regions, for encouraging prevention of potential future health problems, as well as increasing resilience and preparedness.
  • Reducing pollution – mainly in urban areas – is imperative for reducing health risks. Smart-city developments should prioritise on healthy lifestyle and clean air. | Related Megatrends: UrbanisationClimate and environment
  • Policies are needed at macro and micro level to address malnutrition and diet, which are by far the biggest risk factors for the global burden of diseases. E.g. product labelling, price incentives, education, as well as dietary rules for cafeterias (mainly in schools and work places) are some simple and easily implementable potential tools. | Related Megatrends: Inequalitie
  • Given the growing elderly population, attention to geriatric care should increase. | Related Megatrends: Demography 

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Sustainable Development Goal 3: "Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages" of the SDGs includes two targets directly related to noncommunicable diseases.

  • Target 3.4 requests that countries: “By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being”;
  • Target 3.5 requests that countries: “Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol.”

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