Many interventions in healthcare in the fields of prevention, cure and care lack a sufficient scientific basis, implementation and evaluation.

There is still a need for knowledge and resources at four levels. First, at a molecular and biological level, to create possibilities for early recognition and repair. Second, at a physical and mental level, to enable patients to adapt to their new situation. Knowledge is also needed about social functioning; to what extent are patients still able to participate in society? Finally, we need to look at the quality and effectiveness of treatments, care organisations and the care system, to ensure that everyone can obtain optimum care that is organised as efficiently as possible.


Various trends are putting healthcare under pressure. Examples are: demographic developments (ageing, migration); increasing social, economic and ethnic health differences; the increase in lifestyle-related disorders; the staffability and affordability of the care system.


On the other hand, there are also developments that we can benefit from, such as increasing knowledge in the areas of prevention and public health, growing interest in quality of life, innovative developments in medical technology, the increasing contribution of patients to their own care management, and an increasing understanding of care as an economically profitable investment.


Scientific research within the NWO theme Healthy Living aims to generate knowledge to bring the ideal of a long and healthy life and quality of life a step closer. To this end, the partners involved have designed and are implementing a coherent interdisciplinary strategic research agenda.


Research for the benefit of healthcare is pre-eminently multidisciplinary in nature: from drawing up dietary advice for people with diabetes, through genetic research to identify the causes of diseases, to ICT systems for patient monitoring. The theme Healthy Living brings together all of the disciplines involved to work on creating a healthy society for tomorrow.