ISB News

Revolutionizing Healthcare: Exploring the Age of Scientific Wellness for Optimal Health and Disease Prevention

Drs. Lee Hood and Nathan Price believe healthcare should focus on preventing disease and optimizing overall wellness. In “The Age of Scientific Wellness,” they detail their vision of revolutionizing healthcare.

Scientific wellness takes into account the complexity of the human body and analyzes three major aspects of health: the body, the brain, and the gut microbiome. The goal of scientific wellness is to use big data to generate actionable insights that help individuals stay healthy, avoid diseases, and enable people to live longer and healthier lives.

Hood and Price discussed their new book and much more during an ISB-Town Hall Seattle event hosted by ISB President Dr. Jim Heath. You can watch the full conversation here, or by clicking play on the video above.

The authors talked about the many ways we can understand the body: 

  • Scientists can study the entire genome. 
  • They can analyze blood, which carries molecules that provide information about the health of different organs. 
  • By studying the brain, scientists can assess cognitive functions, and they can use digital features to measure and improve brain health. 
  • The gut microbiome, which consists of microbes in our digestive system, plays a crucial role in overall health. Scientists can use DNA sequencing to analyze the diversity of microbes in the gut and understand their impact on food processing and drug metabolism.

All this data can be converted into digital signals and analyzed using systems biology. By studying the networks that underlie our physiology, scientists can make inferences about optimizing wellness and preventing diseases. 

The authors talked about how the current healthcare system is primarily focused on reactive medicine, meaning it treats diseases after they occur. However, scientific wellness aims to shift the focus to proactive and preventive care. This requires a fundamental change in how healthcare is delivered and paid for. 

Hood and Price acknowledge that changing the healthcare system is challenging due to its size and existing structures. However, they believe that through new companies, payment models, and a focus on wellness, it is possible to transform healthcare and achieve preventive medicine.

About the Science Series 

Over the past several years, ISB and Town Hall Seattle have put on a number of joint events focusing on a range of important scientific issues: The interface of art and science, reimagining chronic illness, the “elegant” immune systemthe state of the microbiome field, the new science of longevity, why we age (and why we don’t have to), the importance of getting kids outside, STEM policy and advocacy, the politics of immunization, mining sewage to track population health, and creating new senses for humans

We will continue creating compelling events. To make sure you know of upcoming conversations, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter for event updates.

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