It was a pleasure for Debbie Marshall and Steve Huxham to be invited to the Quantum Healthy Longevity seminar “A Blueprint for the Healthy Longevity Innovation Mission” on Monday 14th November, expertly Chaired and organised by Silver Marketing Association member Tina Woods of Collider Health, and kindly hosted by King’s College, London as part of Longevity Week 2022.

Amongst the impressive line-up of speakers were Dr Lynne Corner and Nic Palmarini from the National Innovation Centre for Ageing based in Newcastle, and the sheer level of intellect and innovative thinking was on display from all the speaking panels throughout the event, joining either in person or remotely. Steve was also pleased to renew the acquaintance of Damian Green MP, and to make contact with Lord Bethell. Both are champions for this field within the House of Commons and House of Lords respectively. Damian Green is pictured here with Tina Woods.

Put bluntly, there are increasing levels of ill-health in the older population, and increasing levels of inactivity in the younger generation. UK citizens spend 20% of their life in poor health on average and there is a 20 year difference in healthy life expectancy between the richest and the poorest. This gap is widening, and the burden of ill health is having a substantial impact on economic productivity. Shifting funding much further toward prevention rather than cure is the only option and companies are expected to add “health” to their ESG criteria in the future, which will become ESHG.

Politicians have to take note from a moral and health imperative, but also from an economic standpoint, not least here in the UK where the NHS is openly creaking at the seams. If, as was stated, adding one healthy working year to current expectations adds £60bn to the economy, whereas in contrast we spend £5.6bn on Frailty, and the cost of Dementia is £25bn, then as one speaker said in respect of the latter “we’ve been getting it wrong for too long.”

Marketing has a key role to play in the Healthy Longevity mission.  The data that organisations glean from their consumers feeds into the science, and the output of the science needs to be communicated to consumers for a better understanding healthy longevity.  The session ably demonstrated what might be possible in terms of not only slowing down ageing, but also potentially reversing the process, when people working on different aspects of the same subject get together.

We posed the question as to whether there was potentially all too often a “silo” internally, between Boards and/or Corporate Communications supporting this scientific work and Marketing, having the focus purely on their customers.

It is certainly an area that we would encourage all Silver Marketing Association Members to think about, and we’ll be reporting back more on this subject in due course.

Read the full article in The Lancet