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Preempting Chronic Diseases Before They Start: A New Healthcare Focus to Keep People Healthy

The Kitalys Institute convened a global online event focused on "Opportunities and Challenges for Preempting Chronic Diseases Before They Start." The discussions centered on the need to challenge the traditional healthcare model, emphasizing a shift away from the current sickness-centered approach. Speakers explored how advances in the biological and computational sciences provide enormous opportunities to detect and attack disease before it takes hold, but noted a lack of “secondary prevention” strategies focused on detecting predisease in seemingly healthy people to prevent or delay disease progression. For effective preemptive interventions, speakers unanimously stressed the importance of robust biomarkers and intermediate endpoints, as well as regulatory validation, public-private partnerships and data source integration. Acknowledging the financial burden of chronic diseases, speakers advocated for changes in payment and delivery systems, as shifting from treating sickness to preventing it necessitates restructured healthcare financing.

The event concluded with a resounding call to mainstream preemptive health and medicine. Regulatory agencies, industry stakeholders, payers, and research communities were urged to collaborate to develop a roadmap for identifying preemptive biomarkers and endpoints and addressing regulatory and payment policy changes. Both U.K. and U.S. regulators signaled willingness to engage in structured workstreams, highlighting a shared commitment to advance preemptive medicine. The event underscored the transformative potential of preemptive health and medicine on population health and quality of life, as well as the sustainability of healthcare systems.

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