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Managing human resources through the pandemic

Healthy future at any age

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Healthy future at any age, which took place online on 12 November 2020 was an exceptional meeting of international representatives of science and academia, business, regulators and investors, focusing on the development of healthy longevity agenda in our region and beyond.

The first panel Modern prevention – focusing on healthspan and wellbeing, moderated by Joanna Bensz, CEO of the International Institute of Longevity included Prof Maciej Banach, president of the Polish Mother’s Memorial Hospital Research Institute, Dr Daniel Śliż, president of the Polish Society of Lifestyle Medicine and Director at the Longevity Centre, Dr Kris Verburgh, venture partner at the Longevity Vision Fund and faculty member at Singularity University Benelux, and Alexandra Vallon-Eberhard, Senior Director of Global Business Development-Diagnostics at Roche.

Discussing the definitions of modern prevention, the panellists stressed the importance of comprehensive approach to all health risk factors, irrespective of patient’s age. They agreed that there is no modern prevention without technological tools helping doctors to be closer to patients to provide pro-active, personalised and predictive healthcare. With the use of the latest technologies and AI-assisted wearables that continuously monitor health and biomarkers, modern prevention is redefining the standards of personalised healthcare shifting from laboratory-based testing to precision diagnostics. Several times during the discussion, the importance of education at all levels, especially doctors, was mentioned, as was the impact of lifestyle factors like nutrition, sleep or exercise on our health and about the role of ageing as the critical factor of many chronic diseases.

The topic of biomarkers and biological age was continued by Gordan Lauc, CTO of GlycanAge introduced GlycanAge, the world’s first direct-to-consumer glycan-based product. Mr Lauc explained how the most reliable marker of biological age works and what it tells us about health and healthspan.

The second debate, The science behind a long, healthy life, focused on cutting-edge discoveries in age-science and provided an interesting overview of what awaits us in the very near future. The panel discussion was introduced by Eric Verdin, President of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, who explained how focus on ageing can change medicine from sick care (organ-based, reactive, universal, managing diseases) to healthcare (system-based, proactive, preventative, personalised).

The panel discussion that followed was moderated by Weronika Prusisz, director for Longevity Compliance at the Longevity Centre. Guests included Philipp Gut, Nestle Institute for Health Science, Nestle Research, head of cell biology, Aubrey de Grey, CSO, Sens Research Foundation, Dr Nichola Conlon, CEO and co-founder of Nuchido and Greg Bailey, MD, CEO of Juvenescence.

The panellists agreed that while the scientific progress in epigenetics and senescence is astonishing, so are the consequences of that progress. They observed that one of the biggest breakthroughs in age science is the change in the perception of ageing from a random process we can do nothing about (or as a genetically predetermined destiny) to a growing understanding of all processes that our organism undergoes as we age. Further on, the panellists discussed the various solutions that are already there on the market, which contributed to this change of perception.  The most popular examples like nicotinamide riboside as a precursor of NAD+ prove that with age we can assist our organisms with supplements, more complex than traditional vitamins or minerals, based on solid research and gaining credibility, also bridging the gap until more sophisticated rejuvenation therapies are available. They also noticed that, since we live in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, the therapies that focus on the immune system will be definitely seeing much interest.

After the debate, the topic of scientific discoveries and their practical applications was continued in the presentation by Brian Kennedy, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Physiology at the National University of Singapore. His presentation tackled biomarkers of ageing and important issues of validating longevity interventions in humans.

The third panel Sustainable health - healthy workplace of the future started with an introduction by Andrew J Scott, Professor of Economics at London Business School, who discussed healthy ageing and productive ageing and the three-dimensional longevity dividend – connection between life expectancy, health and economic activity.

Continuing the topic of a healthy society contributing to a healthy economy, third panel was moderated by Beata Mońka, business partner, at Ringier Axel Springer Polska, with the participation of Cezary Stypułkowski, CEO, mBank SA, Prince Michael of Liechtenstein, CEO Geopolitical Intelligence Services, co-founder IIOL, Dr Mario Martinez, CEO, Biocognitive Institute, best-selling author, international speaker and Joanna Bensz, CEO and co-founder of the Longevity Centre.

The panellists highlighted the need for everyone to take personal responsibility for their own health, stressing that a healthy economy and healthy society is possible only if people take control of their own healthy future. They noted that a leader cannot be analysed in isolation, separate from their ‘ecology’ – their immune system or nervous system. We are biosymbolic beings and our brains and immune systems respond to our culture and to the messages it produces. It was stated that in order to achieve healthy longevity, a leader should aspire to three things: perception that there is enough time, self-valuation – feeling worthy of good things happening to them, and doing things that have meaning. Also, there are places like the Longevity Centre, where the best expertise from the field of healthy longevity is put to practice – from testing various biomarkers that measure our biological age to assessing the condition of immune systems, and identifying stress levels or causes of sleep disorders. With the help of a team of medical doctors, dieticians, psychologists, all working together to guide all people on their way to optimum health.

The meeting was part of the Longevity Week celebrations, held online on 9-13 November under the title Age of Resilience. The partners of the meeting were Forbes, Longevity Centre, the British Polish Chamber of Commerce, Scandinavian-Polish Chamber of Commerce, Polish HR Association, Polish Society of Lifestyle Medicine, and the Innowacje w Medycynie i Fundacja Liderek Biznesu think-tank.

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