‘Longevity medicine – knowledge and reasoning, not assumptions and generalizations’

Longevity Education Hub is fostering next generation physicians in order to close the healthspan-lifespan gap.

The Longevity Education Hub does exactly what it says on the tin, offering educational courses focused on aging, geroscience, longevity and rejuvenation. The first CME accredited Longevity Medicine Course, Longevity Medicine 101: Introduction to Longevity Medicine, was developed collaboratively between leading AI professionals, practicing physicians, biogerontology experts and geroscientists, to provide the first credible source of Longevity Medicine Education to train and upskill the healthcare professionals of the future.

The Hub’s courses are mostly the result of volunteer non-profit effort by a group of MDs, PhDs, and biomedical professionals who are passionate about evidence-based longevity and geroscience research translation into clinical practice. Three main courses are currently on offer: Longevity Medicine 101 for physicians new to the field, Longevity Medicine 201 for advanced practitioners, and an Investing in Longevity Course for investors seeking opportunities in the growing longevity market.

Longevity.Technology: Available in multiple languages, the courses provide a comprehensive Longevity Medicine curriculum for clinicians, scientists and healthcare professionals, covering topics around biogerontology, geroscience, and AI-based medicine, as well as a broad foundation of translational aging research terminology, theories and hallmarks of aging, basic aging pathways and mechanisms behind potential geroprotective interventions, various types of aging clocks and more. Every day’s a school day, so we sat down with Dominika Wilczok, Longevity Education Hub‘s Course Co-Coordinator, to find out more.

Not just any course, Introduction to Longevity Medicine holds Continuing Medical Education accreditation, a system that ensures that physicians’ knowledge is current with advancements in the field. Wilczok points out that the inclusion of Longevity Education Hub’s courses in the CME offering speaks to their scientific reliability and relevance to clinical practice.

“It’s important to highlight that the Hub’s courses are the only in the world free of charge courses in longevity medicine,” she adds.

Of course, longevity education needs to have practical application – using what you’ve learned – but also to be a continual journey, discussing new concepts and research. Wilczok explains that as well as imparting knowledge, the Hub provides physicians with non-sponsored names of the most reliable tools already used in clinical practice, while one of the modules overviews the longevity medicine clinics.

“In addition, our alumni join a private community where they share their experiences and raise questions,” she adds. “This trusted ground of real-time information exchange accelerates their knowledge implementation.” There are some longevity heavyweights involved as well – the Hub is the official knowledge partner of the Aging Research and Drug Discovery (ARDD) conference, run by the course co-founders Professors Alex Zhavoronkov and Morten Scheibye-Knudsen, and Professor Evelyne Bischof is the chair of the Longevity Medicine track, which will be the largest symposium on longevity medicine held to date.

L-R: Alex Zhavoronkov (Course Founder & Author), Morten Scheibye-Knudsen (Course Co-Author) and Evelyne Bischof (Course Founder & Author)

With a global reach, ensuring accessibility is key. While the course’s target audience is physicians and a standard medical education is assumed, Wilczok says the Hub provides a detailed explanation of the tools they do not yet encounter in traditional medical education, such as deep aging clocks, biomarkers of aging, geroprotectors or dual-purpose drugs.

“Our students’ inner drive pushes them to obtain longevity medicine education; therefore, we are confident in their ability to further explore the concepts they lack prior knowledge,” she explains, adding that longevity medicine is not contained to the clinic alone. Aside from the medical and biochemical knowledge, the 101 course also features the economic and market aspects of longevity medicine, and for students who want to further explore this area, the Hub provides the Investing in Longevity Course.

“The 101 course includes an explanation of the AI behind longevity medicine, such as deep neural networks used to create deep aging clocks, discover geroprotectors and drugs,” Wilczok explains, adding that the Longevity Medicine 202 course is a detailed biochemical explanation of the concepts introduced in the 101 course.

While there has been rapid advancements in longevity and geroscience medicine, integration of these principles into mainstream clinical expertise still lags behind where it should be. Wilczok explains that this needs to change, because while longevity medicine’s aim is healthy lifespan elongation, it concerns a patient at every stage of life: from childhood to death.

“By gathering and analyzing such longitudinal data, longevity physicians aided by AI, can understand the unique case of every patient’s health trajectory,” she explains. “Longevity Medicine is more than ensuring patients are disease-free – it’s about optimizing their biochemical parameters according to their personalized needs, so that they achieve the most optimal health performance.”

Wilczok uses the example of using longevity medicine tools such as deep aging clocks without understanding what the neural network was trained on, and how not understanding how parameters such as red blood cell count correspond to overall health might have dangerous consequences.

Longevity Medicine Hub has a team representing 11 nationalities and learners in 109 countries

“The Hub educates the physicians so that they can help the patients to the best of their ability, with their decisions driven by knowledge and reasoning, rather than assumptions and generalizations,” she says. “It’s crucial that the future longevity physicians understand and follow longevity protocols, and rely on the guidelines and standards in the field.”

Wilczok points out that although Healthy Longevity has become a megatrend, which greatly helps with attracting funding and attention for further development of the field, it also creates a trap of overusing overhyped interventions. Longevity Medicine courses can provide the physicians with skills and knowledge to efficiently discuss the effectiveness, reliability and effectiveness of individual tests and interventions, and guide them on the diagnostic process.

Incredibly, the Longevity Education Hub operates largely through volunteer efforts, and while co-ordinating MDs, PhDs, and biomedical professionals in myriad countries and various languages might seem the stuff of logistical nightmares, Wilczok says the entire Hub team, despite representing 11 nationalities and dialing in from four different time zones, share the same longevity medicine values.

“We refuse to sit tight while preventable, age-related diseases eat up years of people’s lives,” she says. “In the US, there is a 9.1-year healthspan lifespan gap for men and 13.7 for women, taking away productive power, joy of life, and self-determination. Adding just one year of healthy lifespan back to the global population is worth 38 trillion dollars. Effective and widespread longevity medicine education is the pathway to this goal.”

Wilczok explains that because aging affects everyone on the planet, the discussion about elongating healthspan cannot be confined to just to the English-dominated regions. She references how China is actively embracing AI in healthcare and building smart hospital frameworks and the Middle East’s investment of significant capital into healthcare transformation and healthy aging, which will be showcased in next month’s Abu Dhabi Healthcare week.

“We can’t afford to lose the momentum, if we want to mitigate the effect of the demographic changes, and eventually close the healthspan-lifespan gap,” she says. “However, we have to guide this process in a science-based way, constantly evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of the interventions, and making sure they are up to date. By implementing AI to geroscience and healthcare, we can quantum-leap this process, but we have to make sure that all this innovation is reliably communicated and thought to by the professionals, who will ultimately help the patients.”

Just as longevity medicine is a rapidly evolving field, so the Longevity Education Hub is evolving; it has plans to expand its language offerings and national chapters to make its longevity medicine courses even more inclusive, and it is steadily working towards a vision where longevity medicine is part of a standard medical curriculum for an MD degree.

“This will mean young physicians’ mindsets are centered on healthy lifespan elongation,” Wilczok explains. “We aim to foster a new generation of physicians who will be confident in leveraging artificial intelligence-based tools to best understand their patients’ unique health situations and aging process.”

Wilczok teases that the hard work of the Hub’s founders and team is about to come to fruition in this area, but details remain under wraps for now.

“What I can say, though, is that medical students in several of the best national medical universities are about to be equipped with state-of-the-art knowledge. This will give them a tremendous advantage on the market and, most importantly, the ability to care for patients with the prospect of treating them and optimizing their health.”

Find out more about the Longevity Education Hub – or sign up for a course – HERE.

Photographs courtesy of Longevity Education Hub