About this theme

Why is one person ill and another healthy? Answering that question requires more than just a study of the disease. It is also necessary to look closely at healthy people. Why are they all right, while someone else in a similar situation is in need of care?

Good care calls for constant innovation. Population ageing means a rising number of people in need of care but at the same time increasingly fewer healthcare staff. Promoting patient independence is therefore an important aim for the healthcare of tomorrow.

Within healthcare research, there have traditionally been three areas of application: prevention, cure and care. Prevention is about staying healthy. How can we eradicate health-threatening factors and stimulate health-promoting factors? And which factors decide who becomes ill and who does not?

Curative interventions are about getting better. The aim is a targeted, effective and safe cure for each disease, in which the use of genomics and proteomics to provide personalised medicine is seen as one of the promises for the future.

Long-term care is about living with disabilities. What does someone with a chronic condition need in order to be able to lead a meaningful life? And what aids would make life easier for these patients?

Research within the NWO theme Healthy Living focuses on all three of these aspects. How can we avoid falling ill? What treatment do we give if fate strikes anyway? And how do we handle disabilities as the result of chronic conditions?

Top sector Life Sciences & Health

The Dutch cabinet has designated nine top sectors in which the Netherlands is a world leader and that the government will specifically focus on together with industry and researchers.

The NWO theme Healthy Living is closely aligned with the scientific ambitions of the top sector Life Sciences & Health in three areas in particular:

  • Responsible care innovation. This includes topics such as Quality of life, Alternatives to animal experiments, Infectious diseases and Responsible Innovation.
  • Healthy ageing, promoting patient independence. This includes ICT in healthcare, medical and home care technology, brain & cognition and nutrition and health.
  • Medical products, including pharmacotherapy, regenerative medicine and innovative therapies based on molecular and translational research.

Road maps

Ten roadmaps have been drawn up within the top sector, in the fields of:

  • Molecular diagnostics
  • Imaging and imaging-led therapies
  • Home care and self management
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • One Health (human and animal)
  • Specialised nutrition, illness and health
  • Health technology assessment and quality of life
  • Enabling technologies and infrastructure
  • Global Health, emerging diseases in emerging markets

NWO aims to contribute to these roadmaps with its theme Healthy Living.