Medtech will be central to healthy longevity movement

Sector experts at Sagentia Innovation say the global phenomenon of population aging will see healthy longevity rapidly become one of the major categories in the medtech sector.

Investment in the category is expected to boom over the next decade. With medical care pathways shifting from reactive to proactive and preventive care, healthy longevity is set to centre around earlier detection and better prediction of age-related diseases, novel geroprotective therapies, and self-care.

“Aging research has experienced unprecedented advances over recent years, particularly with the discovery that the rate of aging can be, to some extent, controlled,” explains Dr Tatiana Sergeenko, Principal Consultant at Sagentia Innovation. “This creates opportunities for new developments encompassing everything from diagnostic technologies – such as multi-omics approaches for early diagnosis and pre-diagnosis of diseases – to treatment solutions, including genetic, pharmaceutical, and nutritional interventions.”

According to Sergeenko, one area that offers great potential is the identification, and potential closure, of gaps between chronological and biological age. “Population statistics generally focus on chronological age, or the number of years someone has been alive. However, scientists are more interested in the rate at which a person ages physically, known as biological age. Although chronological age does reflect disease risk, the rate of aging varies across individuals, organs, tissues, and clinical conditions. Chronological age does not capture this variation well. On the other hand, when a person’s biological age far exceeds their chronological age, it may indicate more susceptibility to age-related health conditions. A lot of healthy longevity solutions look at closing this ‘age gap’ to maintain good health in older age.”

Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques and algorithms are increasingly used in healthy longevity research surrounding the development of reliable metrics of aging, biological age assessment, and the effectiveness of geroprotective medications. ML/AI-enabled systems can be used to regulate behaviour and psychological elements of age-related conditions, determining the most relevant treatment options for an individual based on their personal biomarkers and lifestyle preferences.

Sergeenko recently authored a whitepaper exploring healthy longevity principles and opportunities in more detail. It considers the nine hallmarks of aging that contribute to the deterioration and dysfunction of cells as they age. Health conditions associated with aging, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and arthritis, are covered as well as areas that hold innovation potential.

Sergeenko says deepening understanding of aging processes, combined with accelerated innovation in next-generation molecular-level diagnostics and advanced data analytics for better prediction of age-related diseases, creates a fertile landscape for medtech companies. 

“While commercially available healthy longevity solutions are interesting, more sophisticated advancements are on the horizon. Ongoing developments indicate that some solutions will go beyond the treatment of age-related diseases to potentially restore lost function and prevent age-related diseases. We’re seeing exciting advancements in digital and formulated interventions, validation of biomarkers of aging, and use of data analytics which will break new ground. Medtech organisations that leverage relevant technologies to make early inroads to healthy longevity have much to gain.”

Healthy aging and longevity: challenges and opportunities is available to download free of charge here.



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