Personalized prevention

Personalized Prevention and Care

How can we integrate differences between individuals into health care?

Research focus

Health care costs are rising worldwide and we need to know how we can contain the costs, while maintaining a good quality of the care. To ensure that our healthcare system is ready for the future, we need a new perspective on health, prevention and care that acknowledges the differences between people and corresponds more closely to their personal performances and experiences. Many of our treatments or preventive interventions are not effective in large groups of the patients or citizens. In fact, some treatments or interventions even have adverse effects. Personalized care is tailor-made prevention and or treatment for individuals or groups of individuals that work best. This means give each and every patient and citizen the right care, at the right moment, in his or her own home environment, with maximum effect and minimum side-effects and costs.

Our research focuses on (a) selective prevention, including lifestyle interventions, (b) personalized healthcare, including shared decision making and (c) diagnostics, using computational statistics and predictor models. With the use of different sources such as smart phones, wearable sensors, email and social media and the use of advanced statistics and methods we obtain personal and long term data. Technological innovations make it possible to measure all kinds of states, such as emotions, behavior, well-being and also how we adapt ourselves to changing situations. Enormous amounts of longitudinal data on individuals, their diseases and the consequent dynamics in their daily functioning need to be studied in order to understand the biological and functional variations between individuals.

Interdisciplinary approach

We refine knowledge of the ageing and sickness process and interventions in an interdisciplinary manner. We will develop and use new methods such as imaging and monitoring technologies that will speed up the pipeline between laboratory and life. This way, citizens and healthcare professionals are able to use more and more new digital technologies and personalized decision-support systems for individuals as well as for their formal and informal supportive networks to help patients manage their own health and functioning. The new forms of care will close the innovation gap between the laboratory and individual patient. We need to set up new cooperations between researchers, different societal stakeholders and patients and citizens at large.

Research networks:

Cross-cutting theme coordinator:

dr. Floortje Mols

Current Seed Funding projects: