Personalised Health: Take it personal
TNO helps companies develop scientifically based personalised health applications. Knowledge is translated into applications by using a systems approach, and personalised health is put into practice. An example of this is the collaboration with Gabriele Ronnett of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health Company.
Within the Personalised Health research programme, TNO has developed new knowledge, innovative methodologies and tools to provide personalised health advice. The measurement of so-called phenotypic flexibility, using challenge tests, has been developed by TNO and forms the basis for personalised health advice. But psychology, behaviour and social context are also taken into account in order to develop the best tools and interventions for the individual. TNO’s vision is that a systems approach is needed to improve health, from measuring health to supporting healthy behaviour.
'We need to take health care as seriously as disease care. Medicine has made great strides when it comes to disease care. But now we are dealing with a tsunami of chronic diseases.'
Tsunami of chronic diseases
'We need to take health care as seriously as disease care. Medicine has made great strides when it comes to disease care. But now we are dealing with a tsunami of chronic diseases. Obesity, type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders have a major impact on global health, especially in Western countries. Fortunately, these kinds of diseases can be tackled or even prevented with lifestyle advice.'
'An important feature of this type of lifestyle-related metabolic disorder is chronic low-grade inflammation. Being able to measure low-grade inflammation before disease develops is important to make health management feasible for individuals and healthcare providers. Metabolic challenge tests, such as the ‘PhenFlex test’ developed by TNO, are able to detect low-grade inflammation at an early stage. That can help us ‘turn the Titanic’,' said Gabriele Ronnett, who helps lead Medical Sciences & Systems Health at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health Company.
TNO combines in-depth scientific knowledge with implementation
Ronnet has been in contact with TNO for years. 'When I was still working in another position at J&J, I came into contact with TNO and was amazed at the great collaboration partner I had found. I think TNO’s Personalised Health research is visionary. I was surprised by how mature the research already was. Moreover, it is great to see how TNO is addressing the question of how we can bring personalised health advice to people. This combination makes TNO an ideal partner to work with. I worked for years within the academic world on inflammation in metabolic disorders.'
'You can have ideas about what works and what doesn’t, but the question always remains: How do you bring it to the people, how do you implement it? TNO works with the Personalised Health team precisely on that interface and has an approach that responds to putting personalised health advice into practice. I’ve been working in industry for ten years now and it’s nice to work on implementation with TNO, which combines in-depth scientific knowledge with implementation,' says Ronnett.
Paper Personalised Health: From science to market
Do you want to put personalised health into practice and read more about the examples and organisations TNO innovates with? Watch the webinar or download the paper.
Intelligent advisory system
'TNO uses its methodology and an intelligent advice system based on algorithms, among other things, to help assess personal health status and link it to valid interventions to optimise health. In several projects we have collaborated on nutritional strategies to modulate inflammatory dynamics in metabolic disorders.'
'Ideally, you want to give people real-time feedback on how their metabolism is functioning. If we understand what goes wrong in diabetes and other chronic lifestyle-related diseases and which biomarkers are relevant to recognize at an early stage that someone is moving towards disease, then we can come to a solution. Then we can determine how to use nutrients, diet and lifestyle modifications to prevent disease on a personal level. TNO’s tools make that possible and we will continue to work on this together,' emphasizes Ronnett.
Translate and scale up personalised interventions into commercial products
According to Ronnett, it is now important to translate and scale up personalised interventions into commercial products. 'Moreover, we need to think about how we can also get healthy food and this kind of personal advice to people who don’t already buy from an organic market. The people who would benefit from a healthier lifestyle the most, are the hardest to reach. We are at a tipping point. The step towards consumer products is gradually being made. And for these products to succeed, it is also necessary to respond to behavioural change. Everyone needs a helping hand and it is difficult to maintain a healthier lifestyle in the longterm. Chronic lifestyle-related diseases are a socio-economic problem, a crisis that we can only solve together,' concludes Ronnett.
'People who would benefit from a healthier lifestyle the most, are the hardest to reach.'
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Innovation for life
We are TNO. A safer, healthier, and more sustainable life. That's what we are all about. As an independent research organisation, we are the driving force behind innovation. We make knowledge serve the common good. Since 1932, it has been our mission to give the right answers – and to ask the right questions. For the world of today and tomorrow. By combining disciplines and domains, we can tackle the most complex questions. On the road to a better life and a brighter future.
Are you looking for knowledge and technology advice with regard to personalised health advice? We are happy to help you and your organisation. Contact us if you have a question or want to collaborate with us.
Suzan WopereisFunctie:Principal Scientist
My main research focus is studying on the understanding of what biological mechanisms drive health, how you can measure health and deviations from health and importantly on how to intervene on an individual level with lifestyle on health (personalised health).
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