Democratizing longevity: Longevity as a Service™
To introduce Longevity as a Service™, we choose to paraphrase a famous Harley-Davidson ad from some time ago which stated: "it's not the destination, it's the journey".
When talking about health and longevity in recent years we’ve mostly focused on the destination: the extension of life expectancy, or the mission to add five years of healthy life by 2035. Focusing on the promise of that destination has somehow generated a paradox. People as passive beneficiaries of that achievement, waiting at a symbolic finish line. Putting in the background the path to get there. Above all – people are not only passive beneficiaries of all the science and advancement, but also decisive players in their own success.
It’s true that over the course of the last half-century, life expectancy has continued to increase steadily by two years each decade. It is almost as if for every decade we’ve lived, we have gained an extra 20% free. But it is also true that the latest figures show that improvements in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy have stalled, and health inequalities have widened between richest and poorest citizens, almost wherever you are in the world.
However, the ageing process is so much more malleable than we used to think. And if we imagine ageing as a block of marble that until a few years ago seemed unbreakable, today we have the certainty that if properly informed and supported – both financially and culturally – we ourselves can become the sculptors of our own lives and – if anyone can provide us with a range of tools – we could chisel that similar block of marble into a splendid sculpture, of which we are the subject.
Longevity is therefore a journey, not just a destination, which starts from the people who decide to undertake it, which needs the right companions to be appreciated and the right routes to make it accessible, pleasant, long and satisfying.
Out of metaphor, this journey is made of a combination of human factors and experiences; of research, technologies, innovation of business models, it needs to be translated into practical, understandable, ethically-driven and equally-distributed services available through a go-to-market logic at everyone’s disposal: citizens and enterprises as a microcosm of society dealing – everyday – with a public who, of course, are also “employees”.
At the UK’s National Innovation Centre for Ageing we are well aware that healthy longevity is a holistic process which needs an orchestration, therefore our role of global observer of innovation and experts in the healthy ageing and longevity field suggested us to call on stage the right players to create a harmony respecting the solo.
Longevity as a Service™, or LaaS, brings together companies from a range of different industries, all individually focused on solutions to meet the global opportunity of longevity, but who all fundamentally believe in its holistic nature, well aware that the whole is so much greater than the sum of its parts.
Together with them, and with the others who’ll join us, we’re leveraging a real collaborative and trusted approach where “service” is the key word, turning proclamations into actions, intentions into practical, digitally-enabled, data-driven and market-wise solutions.
Our mission is to democratize longevity – bring it out of the labs, out of the sphere of recommendations and complex scientific narrative – and directly into people’s daily lives, making the people, as citizens or employees, not only the beneficiaries of longer, healthier lives, but also – consciously informed – initiators themselves.
Guido Cornertone, CEO of Solongevity:
Longevity is a promise land to build a better and healthier future for humanity. Education and Accessibility are key factors to accelerate its social impact. That is the common ground we share with NICA’s LaaS ambition and vision.
Solongevity is a company which aims to address the consumer need for specific information about what constitutes healthy longevity action for them as individuals and who is working with NICA to develop their offering “as a service” through multiple data driven touchpoints.
This is why the role of consumers for us here is key. On top on our understanding of the dynamics of longevity we’re leveraging our decade-long experience in directly involving consumers, as individuals, citizens, or employees in the design, development, and delivery of solutions – talking with and listening to people of all ages, cross-generations, different backgrounds, cultures and circumstances, along the different contexts of their lives – truly global in reach.
This “longevity opportunity”, customers have told us, is still largely inaccessible. People say they are puzzled, confused, not helped to understand or have direct access to solutions. They express frustration that policy is repetitive and simply not responding to well-established “knowns”. And businesses are not yet providing a suite of services which can proactively help people manage their personal longevity trajectories.
I watch while a series of .. reports .. just repeat the findings of numerous previous reports. More narrative, more recommendations, yet nothing seems to me to have fundamentally changed for ordinary people on the ground, and actually things seem to be getting worse.
We know from our data that many consumers f have got the basic messages around healthy life behaviours – stay active, stay connected, don’t smoke, and eat better and less.
Every day there is more and more information available to us on living longer, and while I think this is great, it actually makes it really hard to know what to actually do and if you are doing the right thing – it feels quite overwhelming. I feel there is a massive urgency and responsibility to address this but over and above the basics of more exercise and ‘five fruit and veg a day’, I don’t know where to start and no idea if I’m doing the right thing or if it’s making any difference.
But these messages risk oversimplification, and mask really wide differences in knowledge and behaviour change. Certainly, consumer demands are changing – diverse populations, and complex individuals globally who now demand to understand in much more detail the specific actions needed, what they need to do, with clear advice, monitoring, feedback, support, and guidance.
Shiti Rastogi Manghani, CEO and founder of Breathe Happy:
It becomes more relevant than now to work on innovative solutions that range from assessment, personalized delivery to scientific monitoring to bring about effective evidence-based approaches to people right in their living rooms. This is not just need of the hour, but much demanded support from public and private sector too. Being part of this LaaS cluster gives us at Breathe Happy this golden opportunity to make real-world impact in our much cherished domain of longevity.
Breathe Happy are working with NICA in delivering online yoga platforms, utilising the latest AI and machine learning and data to give tailored personalised feedback to users.
As consumers, how are we meant to make sense of all this narrative, and all this wonderful science that is developing at such amazing speed? To understand our own biology, our own health and lifestyle trajectories – be they metabolic factors, inflammation, stress, as well as environment and lifestyle – diet, exercise, physical activity, financial stress and smoking included?
This area of having multiple conditions really gets to me. When I realised that scientists were not researching the connections between diseases I thought why not? Surely it’s been obvious for decades that that should be a clear route of enquiry? I was incredulous.
It makes sense when you are told that different conditions are linked, it makes sense that if you delay or prevent one, you can also delay or prevent another. That makes sense to me, but this is not yet in a service for me. It’s still in the labs. The NHS as wonderful as it is, seems best at waiting until you have something really wrong then fixing it, rather than adopting a stitch in time saves nine.
Nikolina Lauc, CEO and co-founder of GlycanAge, which through analytics of Glycans is providing accurate tests with personalized advice:
Disease prevention starts with healthy ageing, and to move prevention from rhetoric to application we need to be looking at novel biomarkers of health, not just disease.
Professor Mark Birch Machin, of Skin Life Analytics:
I’m excited to be part of Longevity as a Service™ cluster as it enhances the reality of bringing science directly into people’s daily lives across many generations.
Skin Life Analytics is a NICA spin-off utilizing DNA Damage Technology for a health and ageing assessment of the skin – but also as a powerful motivation to encourage people to stick to healthy lifestyle regimes and measure progress.
Based on NICA’s Ageing Intelligence® approach, and hosted in the iconic, multi-awarded Catalyst building within one of the fastest growing innovation hubs in the UK, the NICA LaaS cluster presents a selection of businesses chosen to represent specific sectors of the interlocking spectrum of industries needed to work effectively together to benefit longevity for people, keeping ethics and data at the forefront. These are key concerns for consumers, as are the financial and business models, current and in the future.
Therefore, LaaS also aims to explore consistent go-to-market approaches that can allow a seamless reach to the broadest possible audience, leveraging existing touchpoints like companies and their employees by reaching Chief Strategic Officers, HR Directors and Chief Medical Officers who are well aware of the key role of the organizations they represent as a gateway of people’s wealth, health, happiness.
To know more about how longevity can be introduced to your organization as a service or to join LaaS, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.