Healthy aging – an Euregional challenge and opportunity: Aging is a progressively increasing problem of the EMR region compared to other West-European regions. The increasing number of elderly is associated with age related chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), asthma, chronic obstructive lung diseases (COPD), neurodegenerative (MS) and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). This is even enhanced by an unhealthy lifestyle, present within the EMR. In addition, health costs increase but the quality of life is not necessarily improving leading to the fact that people live longer but not qualitatively better.

Thus EMR is living lab amongst the several borders where age related health problems manifest faster compared to other regions. Private and academic institutions showing expertise on the level of health, chronic diseases and medical technologies are represented in this living lab, implying great opportunities for this region. This will have a huge impact on the previously mentioned regional health risks.

It is clear that strategies to identify age related chronic diseases in an early stage, are missing. Hence, patients should be treated more efficiently (70% of the patients does not react properly to therapy) to delay aging. Biomarkers are very important in all these fazes because they are not only a measure for delaying aging but also form an armor to age related diseases.

Academic partners (Universiteit Hasselt/BIOMED = lead partner, MUMC+, GIGA Liège and UKA) and SME’s (Curador, MonaCell, Imomec, GlycoCheck, Phacobel and ptTheragnostic) which are part of the Healthy Aging consortium will use their knowledge and expertise to cope with the expected increase of age related diseases. This will be achieved by:

(1)  Early diagnosis of immune aging and age related chronic diseases (DIAGNOSE)

(2)  Personalized intervention in chronic diseases to improve the response (“COMPOUND” DIAGNOSTICS)

(3)  New and more efficient therapies (better therapies)

(4)  Nutraceuticals to delay and prevent aging and age related chronic diseases (PREVENTION)