As lifespans lengthen, societies face unprecedented social, economic, and health challenges in caring for their aging populations. Potential solutions are complicated, but the most promising require adopting a healthcare system that is more proactive, more preventive, and patient-centered like never before.

Northeastern University is deeply vested in issues related to aging and the care of older adults. Currently, our Interdisciplinary Healthy Aging Initiative (IHAI) is positioning the university to lead efforts in transforming care for older adults. Initiated by Northeastern’s College of Science and Bouvé College of Health Sciences, this cross-disciplinary program also includes faculty members from the College of Engineering, the College of Computer and Information Science, the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, and the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. The IHAI brings together researchers, practitioners, technology leaders, payers, funders, and community and government representatives. Under the IHAI’s umbrella, these teams will explore proactive monitoring, prevention, detection, management, and treatment of the cognitive and physical ailments that reduce quality of life and raise healthcare costs in our aging population. They will work together to enable research and make recommendations for best practices and forward-thinking healthcare policy.

This initiative spans a spectrum of approaches, including personalized molecular genetics, computational modeling-based predictions, mobile health technologies, bioengineered devices, and lifestyle interventions. Rather than lifespan extension, these scientists, healthcare professionals, and other stakeholders will collectively target the human healthspan as their ultimate goal.

Read the complete white paper here.