Personalized, Real-Time Health Impact of Climate Change and Pollution
Prolonged exposure to excessive heat and environmental pollution is associated with increased risk of chronic diseases including cancer, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases. The current course of global climate change and decreased environmental quality puts 3.5 billion people in danger, disproportionally affecting disadvantaged populations and increasing health inequalities.
To significantly improve population health, targeted and timely interventions are key. Current research linking environmental stressors and health is, however, limited to long-after-the-fact large-scale statistics and longterm trends, restricting our ability to adapt behavior & provide cost-effective, timely, personalized prevention and treatment strategies.
In our Flagship, we propose a radically different approach (Scheme below). We advance and combine key developments in bioengineering, medical wearables and data-driven impact analysis – supported by clinical, economic and ethical insights – to unveil and mitigate the effects of environmental stress on an individual scale in real time from the tissue to the societal level:
1. Biological response at the tissue level: develop organ-on-chip platforms for in-depth investigations of the personalized biological response towards environmental stress.
2. Real-time response at the individual level: develop wearable skin patches for a) personalized, real-time biomarker sensing and b) monitoring and understanding individual behavioral response towards environmental exposure.
3. Behavioral and health response at the individual and societal level: combine personalized wearable sensors with advanced data analytics to develop individualized interventions and cost-effective policies.
These breakthroughs will enable evidence-based personalized interventions, providing citizens and clinicians with the toolsets and knowledge to implement personalized prevention and treatment strategies, while empowering policy-making agencies with analytics based on real-time data to develop cost-effective and ethical policies for mitigating environmental health challenges.
- Alina Rwei
Hok Bing Thio