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Improving public health with health and bio tech

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

World Health Organisation (1948)

Public health includes targeted actions by the public sector and others aimed at improving the health, well-being and quality of life of the nation and social groups.

WHO, Health promotion glossary (1998)

At a recent Icelandic Health Tech Cluster's morning meeting on January 11 the topic of discussion was public health. We welcomed representatives from The Directorate of Health and our member companies from the private and startup sector that directly or indirectly work on improving public health through their solutions. In our discussion panel we had representatives from Mín líðan, Proency, Beanfee and Florealis.

Happiness and wellbeing in life and work is of national economic importance. According to HM Treasury's Green book, 1 point in happiness equals 13,000 GBP per person or over 2 million ISK. The happiness of Icelanders in 2021 measured at 56,8% (proportion of adults that measures their happiness at least 8 on the scale of 1-10).

The Directorate of Health regularly measures happiness as well as other factors of public health and vast amount of statistics is available on the Directorate's website. The Directorate of Health publishes public health indicators for the different health districts and also refers to the public health indicators for the European Union and Nordic countries for comparison. "Public health indicators are intended to make it easier for municipalities and health services to analyze the situation in their district, find strengths and weaknesses and understand the needs of the population so that they can work together to improve health and well-being." Public health indicators are a collection of measures that provide indicators of the health and well-being of the population and their influencing factors.

We like to compare ourselves to other countries but we also need to compare regions in Iceland, regional difference in health is known around the world. Monitoring this difference could be improved here in Iceland. Health tech and digital remote health service can be a strong factor in decreasing regional difference in health. Also bio tech solutions such as approved over the counter herbal medicine, which can be accessed without prescription and can work to prevent a small problem becoming so that it needs medical examination and perhaps anti-biotics.


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