Improving health journeys

Convergence challenge

Within this research theme, we aim to provide an optimal start to life, maintain health throughout life, predict disease, optimize treatment outcomes, and optimize recovery and (end-of-life) care.

Each life can be considered a health journey that starts around conception and concludes at the end of life. A health journey contains both intramural and extramural phases and involves many stakeholders, like family, healthcare specialists and policy-makers. However, current health care systems are organized primarily around intramural activities and focus on disease. The scope of healthcare is confined to the entry and exit of a health facility and thus limited in its outreach.

We aim to transform the traditional healthcare system (a ‘disease cure system’) into a ‘network’ system that focuses on the entire health journey throughout life, effectively integrating various formal and informal healthcare systems with multi-layered data sources.


Our research encompasses population health, mental health, preventive medicine and personalized health research. Together, our community works on optimizing health by creating a new scientific understanding of the life course, developing new methods for quantifying health status and designing tools for precision health and medicine.

Our community consists of engineers and scientists from various disciplines, ranging from life sciences to data science and from behavioural economics to policy and governance sciences. These scholars will work with societal partners, such as citizens, healthcare professionals, industrial companies, care providers, regulators and policymakers. By doing so, their expertise actually enters the field.


We combine expertise and knowledge of hypothesis-driven research with data-driven approaches to provide new insights into medical and non-medical aspects of the health journey. From these insights, we will develop novel preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic and predictive tools and pave the way towards precision health and precision medicine throughout the entire life course. In turn, this knowledge will feed into the healthcare system through improved healthcare planning, self-management, clinical and preventive guidelines and protocols for screening and care. The impacts will also be visible in extramural settings, such as city planning, outreach to specific populations, insurance coverage, social service, and environmental strategies.

We aim to transform traditional healthcare into a network system that focuses on the entire health journey throughout life.