Ageing Research at King’s (ARK) Longevity Week 2023 event looks to a responsible future

Natalie Falshaw, MSc, Operations & Communications Associate at ESPM on an event set to explore sustainable longevity, focusing on the fusion of HealthTech and FinTech.

The upcoming 5th ARK Longevity Week event, hosted by Ageing Research at King’s (ARK) in collaboration with the European Society of Preventive Medicine (ESPM) and the Longevity Science Foundation, is set to explore sustainable longevity, focusing on the fusion of HealthTech and FinTech in enhancing wellbeing, improving financial stability, and empowering individuals to lead longer, healthier lives.

With an aging global population and increasing life expectancies, the pursuit of sustainable longevity is more pertinent than ever. 

Sustainable longevity is a multifaceted challenge that demands our attention from numerous perspectives. Closing the health and vitality gap is essential to alleviate the heavy economic and financial strains, and in the era of advanced technology, two sectors are poised to help make meaningful headway in this respect: HealthTech and FinTech. 

HealthTech and the longevity equation

HealthTech plays a pivotal role in redefining how we approach healthcare. With a range of tools, from wearable fitness trackers to telemedicine platforms, technology is empowering individuals to proactively monitor and enhance their wellbeing. While numerous research initiatives are focused on extending healthy lifespans, such as continuous monitoring, cryotherapy, nanotechnology, and robotics, it is crucial to address the fundamental gap between our digital capabilities and the current healthcare data infrastructure.

One of the key priorities is the democratisation of healthcare. This entails improving access to personal medical data for both doctors and patients, facilitating informed and collaborative decision-making. It encourages patients to actively participate in their health management. The integration of AI and advanced data analytics will enable healthcare providers to harness available information, extracting high-resolution insights and transitioning our existing reactive healthcare model into a proactive and preventive health promotion approach. This transformation will open doors to early interventions and promote healthier aging.

FinTech for financial wellness

Financial stability plays a vital role in ensuring sustainable longevity. Managing finances is paramount. A recent study revealed that individuals who engage in long-term financial planning have a lower risk of mortality, even after adjusting for variables such as demographics, income, and self-reported life expectancy. These findings have implications for financial decision-making and suggest that those who plan for the future tend to report better overall health, particularly among the less financially advantaged.

Furthermore, previous research consistently links lower socioeconomic status to reduced life expectancy due to limited healthcare access and the psychological toll of economic inequality.

The relationship between financial wellness and health is closer than one might think. Unfortunately, the system is failing those in need, and the problem is worsening. Incentivising healthy lifestyle choices, improving access to affordable healthcare, and investing in research and development to promote healthier and more financially secure lives can contribute to reshaping sustainable longevity as part of our future.

The nexus of HealthTech and FinTech for sustainable longevity

The synergy between HealthTech and FinTech presents the potential to seamlessly blend health and wealth solutions. Discussions about the possible implications and practical implementations of this sector merger, especially in enhancing consumer health over their lifetimes, are particularly crucial at this juncture.

Hence, ARK’s Longevity Week event, organised in partnership with the European Society of Preventive Medicine and the Longevity Science Foundation, will dial in on the intersection of HealthTech and FinTech. It will explore how the convergence of these two sectors can provide predictive models for health outcomes, financial projections, and ultimately empower individuals to make informed decisions about their future.

Throughout the day, esteemed experts and pioneers in their respective fields will share insights on these converging themes to advance sustainable longevity. With their academic rigour and industry expertise, these collaborations are paving the way for cutting-edge technologies and services aimed at promoting healthier and more financially secure lives.

Svitlana Surodina, CEO of Skein, will dive into the role of data streams in advancing our understanding of longevity and how they power the longevity ecosystem, while Christina Cooper from Mastercard UK will explore the transformative potential of data and digitisation in re-imagining healthcare. Nathan Berkley, CEO of Muhdo Health, together with Imran Khan, Founder Transform Now, and Glen Thurgood, CEO of Huumans, an innovative employee wellbeing platform providing data-driven insights and educational content, will discuss innovative approaches to track biological age for workplace wellness and financial longevity. Philipp Gut, Head of Data Sciences and Precision Nutrition at the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences, will explore the hot topic of personalised nutrition and data science’s role in shaping a healthier future. Finally, Manish Saxena, Co-Director at William Harvey Heart Centre and Deputy Director Research at Barts Health NHS Trust, will explore the impact of digital technologies on monitoring cardiovascular health applications to both the clinic and the community. 

Looking forward

The 5th ARK Longevity Week event will be a platform where thought leaders, researchers, and innovators come together to envision a future where longevity is not just about adding years to life but adding life to years. By embracing the convergence of HealthTech and FinTech, attendees will gain insights into how they can take control of their health, finances, and ultimately their longevity. As the event unfolds, it promises to be a source of inspiration for a brighter and more sustainable future for all.

Sustainable Longevity: Harnessing Consumer HealthTech and FinTech
17 November 2023, 10:00 to 13:30

Franklin-Wilkins Building, KCL Waterloo Campus, London

Natalie Falshaw, MSc, Health Research Consultant and Writer

Natalie is a private health research consultant working to help individuals learn more about their unique biological makeup, and empower them to take control of their health and wellbeing with evidence-based information. She also writes articles to discuss and disseminate complex ideas on metabolic health, longevity and the microbiome to raise awareness for modifiable risk factors with the goal of inspiring readers to make lifestyle changes to prevent or manage chronic disease.

With a BSc in Neuroscience from the University of Leeds and an MSc in Microbiome Research from King’s College London where she undertook her research project in the Department of Twins and Genetic Epidemiology, Natalie well versed in systems biology, the gut-brain axis, the role of the microbiome in health and disease, and epigenetics, meaning her niche cross-functional skill set puts her in a strong position to help drive meaningful change through her voluntary work with the European Society of Preventive Medicine in partnership with Ageing Research at King’s.