Visionary healthcare CEO outlined the need to act now and change the public health approach in the region to address future issues around noncommunicable diseases in an ageing population.
In the Arab region, the population of 65 and above will more than triple by 2050, reaching 102 million.
The insights were highlighted during the third edition of the Future Health Summit, held today at the Museum of the Future.
Revolutionary healthcare visionary Dr. Mehmood Khan, CEO of Hevolution Foundation, delivered a compelling message at the third edition of the Future Health Summit held today at the Museum of the Future. Emphasizing the imminent challenges related to noncommunicable diseases in an aging population in the Arab region, Dr. Khan urged the healthcare community to take immediate action and reshape the public health approach.
The Arab region is expected to witness a significant increase in the population aged 65 and above, tripling to 102 million by 2050. Dr. Khan stressed the need for an all-encompassing societal approach to proactively address the health concerns of the aging population.
During his opening remarks at the Arab Health’s Future Health Summit, Dr. Khan shed light on the distinction between healthspan and lifespan. The global average of years spent in poor health is currently 9.7 years, underscoring the urgency to address this challenge. Dr. Khan emphasized the importance of ensuring that individuals in later life remain independent, cognitive, functional, and contribute actively to their communities.
Speaking at the session titled “Bridging the Gap Between Lifespan and Healthspan,” Dr. Khan highlighted that individuals over 60 years are most at risk for noncommunicable diseases in the MENA region. Adult obesity has become a significant concern, and cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes collectively represent up to one-third of the disease burden in the region. Dr. Khan called for a reconsideration of the public health approach to tackle these future challenges, emphasizing the potential benefits of intervening in the aging process.
Dr. Khan proposed a shift from reactive amelioration to proactive prevention, aiming to reduce vulnerability to future disability among the aging population. He argued that such interventions could lead to substantial benefits, including increased individual productivity and a reduction in global healthcare costs. Dr. Khan suggested that compressing morbidity by 12 months could generate $40 trillion annually in healthcare cost savings and productivity increases.
The Future Health Summit also featured distinguished speakers such as Shaista Asif, Group CEO of PureHealth, and Dr. Michael Ringel, Managing Director of Boston Consulting Group, who discussed the investment opportunities in Longevity Biotech. The panel on “The Longevity Economy: Navigating the Next Frontier” included experts like Dr. Yoshiki Sawa, Prof. Dr. Evelyne Bischof, and Marc P. Bernegger, who shared insights into the challenges and opportunities presented by the evolving landscape of longevity.
The event concluded with closing remarks from Dr. Fatima Al Kaabi, Director General of Emirates Drug Establishment and Executive Director of Abu Dhabi Bone Marrow Transplant Program at Abu Dhabi Stem Cells, a subsidiary of PureHealth.