Aging Analytics Agency – Written evidence (INQ0043)
The House of Lords Ageing: Science, Technology and Healthy Living Inquiry was correct to identify a global problem with economic and social consequences. This problem has two proximate consequences:
● A lack of productivity among the elderly working population.
● A lack of access to the basic resources necessary for a life of meaning and of dignity. Many others confront multiple barriers that prevent their full participation in society.
Here the committee has identified what is frequently referred to by financial publications globally as “the silver tsunami” or “grey tsunami”: the economic and social devastation soon to be inflicted by a global aging demographic.
Furthermore the committee is correct to identify the need for concerted government action as the next step. Increased global longevity per se is a “problem of success”, an inevitable consequence of sharp increases in sanitation, diet, health care, elderly care, and geriatric medicine, a set of changes which have occurred suddenly within the lifetimes of today’s elderly.
We will not relinquish these gains, so what does the only logical alternative to the silver tsunami look like? In order to float rather than sink, Longevity must become an asset. And this means altering the nature of aging entirely, reducing the period of financially and socially inactive decrepitude at the end of life. Specifically, it means utilizing technology to ensure that these longer lives are also healthy, productive, financially active lives, and creating a system of government frameworks and financial incentives to create and sustain this case of affairs.
Aging Analytics Agency foresees a future in which people alive today benefit from “low-hanging fruit” digital and biomedical technologies for facilitating longer, healthier working lives, which subsequently enable them to live to benefit from more advanced biotechnologies (such as those detailed below). The earlier biomedical innovations would consist of P4 medicine supported by data aggregated from advanced data infrastructures which include wearable devices. These would then give way to products of advanced geroscience such as effective geroprotector drugs, and eventually advanced rejuvenation biotechnologies. This progression would be financed by continuous investment in a continuously reinvigorated aging workforce, themselves equipped with access to advanced financial technologies (“fintech for the elderly”), operating via proposed novel financial systems. The overall vision is of a “longevity economy” powered by a longevity industry, run partly by and partly for the reinvigorated and rejuvenated eldery. In such a future, longevity becomes a source of economic dividends, and the tsunami is averted. This is a solution to the silver tsunami for which the components of a solution already exist. What remains is their optimal assemblage, which requires some government coordination.
The United Kingdom, with its detailed industrial strategy prioritising the aging society and digital health, and its strong scientific and financial base, is the first country with the global power, influence and strategic initiative necessary to spearhead this industry. It is well positioned to become an international leader of Healthy Longevity, and was ranked #1 in Aging Analytics Agency’s proprietary analysis National Longevity Development Plans: Global Overview 2019 (First Edition) for a number of reasons including its reputation as a BioTech R&D and Financial Hub, a strong history of industry-academia partnerships focusing on scientific and technological synergies, and its commitment of £300 million to its Ageing Population Industrial Grand Challenge. The nation has all necessary compounds in place to leverage and channel its existing strengths into an efficient, Government-led campaign to make the promotion of Healthy Longevity and financial reform to neutralize the economic burden of an aging population a key priority of its national strategic agenda.
In order to assist the United Kingdom fulfill this role, Aging Analytics Agency would be willing to discuss any of the following proposed steps:
- Creation of a Task Force to Establish a Minimum Required Budget and Blueprint for a National Longevity Development Strategy. We propose the formation of a task force to analyse and project the minimum estimated budget for the National Longevity Development Strategy in a realistic manner. This strategy should build upon the UK’s current industrial strategy.
- Identification of a List of Relevant Metrics for National Longevity Strategy. In order to formulate a relevant, tangible and actionable Framework and Blueprint for a National UK Industrial Strategy for Healthy Longevity, government should incorporate the use of maximally-relevant metrics for measuring Healthy Longevity, and specifically for measuring the effectiveness of its initiatives by examining the cost of its initiatives versus the practical effect they achieve in terms of increasing national Healthy Longevity.
- Establishment of UK AI Centres for Longevity Supporting Resources for Research and Development of Under-Represented Areas of Precision Medicine Including Advanced AI, Microbiome and Advanced Cosmetics. A working group to focus on ways to support under-explored niches in Precision Medicine which have a high degree of actionability and ease-of-implementation, but which are comparatively underrepresented in the larger R&D landscape.
- Establishment of Longevity Startup Accelerators. A number of task forces and working groups to roadmap the development of several key initiatives to boost the development of the UK’s Longevity Industry:
- Establishing Longevity Startup Accelerators in London and other major regional industry-academic hubs.
- Establishing an Association of Longevity Angel Investors and Early-Stage VC Firms.
- Measures that the UK Government can take to provide enhanced and prioritized support for Longevity charities and non-profits in order to boost the development of its Longevity scientific and academic ecosystem.
- Establishment of London as International Longevity Financial Hub. The financial industry faces the oncoming collision of two opposed mega-trends: the ageing population and the extension of healthy Longevity. Specific forms of pension system reform can help combat the economic burden of an ageing population, while the extension of national Healthy Longevity can help relieve the costs of ageing population on healthcare systems while providing growth to the UK’s national economy. The development of novel financial products and services (including novel financial derivatives) can help large UK financial institutions transform 1 billion people on retirement globally from a problem into an opportunity.
- Establishment of a Division for International Longevity Cooperation. This division would focus on the establishment of industrial and technological bridges between the UK and other Longevity-progressive regions such as Israel, Singapore, Switzerland and the USA. It would also focus on the establishment of intergovernmental initiatives that would leverage key strengths of different nations in order to launch programs that yield synergetic, multiplicative effects, enabling the sharing of key technologies, resources and experts.
- Supporting the Development of Actionable, Implementable Panels of Ageing Biomarkers. The past few years have seen a lot of progress in the development of biomarkers of ageing that are not as precise as the current leading methods, but that are precise enough, and most importantly, extremely easy to implement in practice - in particular, those based on deep-learning and AI-driven analysis of routine blood tests, and of photographs. Therefore, the development of easily-implementable and non-expensive panels of biomarkers of ageing will have a much greater real-world effect than the development of extremely precise or comprehensive biomarkers of ageing that are extremely expensive or difficult to implement in practice, such as DNA methylation clocks. We propose making the formulation of an actionable, easily-implementable panel of ageing biomarkers a top priority.
- Establish a Nation-Wide Network of Unmanned Preventive Diagnostics Booths. Launch a task force to roadmap the launch of a nation-wide network of unmanned, AI-assisted preventive diagnostics booths. This is already being implemented across the nation in China by the company Ping An Doctor. By simply emulating the approach already being taken elsewhere, the nation can enable near-continuous monitoring of fluctuations in citizen’s measures of health in a very economic manner. These booths would feature simple diagnostic functionalities including visual recognition, and possible blood and urine analysis, and would ideally be connected to the cloud computing system of the NHS to allow for more advanced forms of analysis based on these rather simple preventive diagnostic methods described above. It is important to note that this would not require intensive or extensive biomedical innovation, and in this sense can be considered as a simple data management problem.
- Establishing Financial Incentives for UK Insurance Companies and Pension Funds. Some countries with the lowest gap between HALE and unadjusted life expectancy, like Singapore, have a life insurance industry ecosystem where major life insurance providers give their clients a number of incentives for maintaining healthy lifestyles and meeting certain preventative health goals. The creation of an infrastructure and ecosystem that delivers financial incentives for remaining healthy (AKA, which delivers citizens wealth for retaining health) is a logical bottom-up solution for incentivizing populations to remain healthy for longer periods of time. We would propose the UK government offer financial incentives such as tax-breaks and subsidies to life insurance companies that provide similar financial incentives (e.g. discounted insurance premiums) for maintaining specific thresholds of preventive health and for meeting specific health goals, as part of the National Longevity Development Strategy.
Aging Analytics Agency has composed detailed proposals for each of the above, available on request.
Upcoming Aging Analytics Agency Reports That Can Provide Key Data Inputs
Aging Analytics Agency has been working on a number of upcoming analytical reports that can provide essential information necessary for parliamentary decisions. These include:
“Enhanced Analysis of Global Healthy Longevity: Determining What Factors Impact Health-Adjusted Life Expectancy (HALE) in 50 Countries”, a follow-up to Aging Analytics Agency’s previous “National Longevity Development Plans Global Overview (First Edition)” analytical report, which will provide tangible insight into how best to structure a Framework and Blueprint for a National UK Industrial Strategy for Healthy Longevity.
“Advancing Financial Industry - Longevity / AgeTech / WealthTech”, which looks at developments at the intersection of Longevity and the Financial Industry, and can provide valuable guidance for developing the UK as a leading Longevity Financial Hub.
“Precision Medicine Clinics Global Landscape Overview: Most Advanced Clinics, Technologies and Methods” can provide key strategic guidance on the establishment of leading UK AI Centres for Longevity, and assist in the specific structuring of the clinics’ technologies and methods.
“USA Longevity Policy, Politics and Governance” can provide valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the USA’s efforts on combating ageing population and boosting its national Healthy Longevity, showing the UK what practices were successful and should be considered to adopt, and which policy initiatives should be avoided.
Aging Analytics Agency’s recent regional case studies, including “Longevity Industry in Israel Landscape Overview 2019”, “Longevity Industry in Singapore Landscape Overview 2019”, and “Longevity Industry in Switzerland Landscape Overview 2019”, which deliver comprehensive overviews of the Longevity Industry, academic and political landscapes of key Longevity-progressive nations, which can be used to form a strategy for international cooperation and the formation of technological, scientific and political bridges between the UK and these regions.
In advancing the agenda of international cooperation between governments, it will be necessary for Parliament to stay informed about the state of government initiatives around the world. Aging Analytics Agency will therefore be releasing a new updated edition of our recent report National Longevity Development Plans Global Overview 2019, expected to be published in September.
The first edition of the report found that the United Kingdom comes out in the #1 position according to its proprietary comparative analysis, suggesting that the nation is in position to become a leader in Healthy Longevity, and in a position to deliver tangible benefits to its citizens through the prioritization of Healthy Longevity as a key component of it’s national strategic agenda, such as increases in its nationwide Health-Adjusted Life Expectancy (HALE) and a reduction in the economic burden posed by its Ageing Population.
Toward the end of 2019 it will be necessary to revisit this data, especially when going forward with any of the other proposals described here.
Parliament and government must be able to monitor and describe biomedical progress. It will be impossible to make concrete claims regarding global progress in biotechnology - and in preventive medicine in particular - without an agreed panel of biomarkers. In medicine, a biomarker is a measurable indicator of the severity or presence of some disease state, and are capable of serving as a standard metric for industrial output in global Longevity Industry. Aging Analytics Agency is planning to release a report outlining a recommendation for a panel of biomarkers of use to all relevant counterparties (in particular the AI Centre for Longevity). We expect that an early test of these biomarkers’ efficacy for industry purposes will be their adoption by longevity accelerators for use in assessing startups, by measuring their early incremental progress.
Another report will be a list of the most progressive advanced biomedicine and precision medicine clinics. It will contain examples of the best practical cases and examples of those best use-cases, and at the same time evaluate which UK clinics currently serve as the best precision clinics in the UK, and how it compares to other countries such as Germany, Switzerland, US, Singapore and so on. By October, we hope and expect to have had some fruitful Longevity APPG discussions regarding the future shape for a Longevity national development plan for the UK. Aging Analytics Agency will be able to support this plan with a list of players - relevant states, ministries, government departments, and government organizations - whose cooperation we would need to seek, and whose participation we would seek for our advisory boards, committees, working groups, and so on in the foreseeable future.
This information will be published in the next edition of Longevity In in the UK. In July 2018, Aging Analytics Agency published an analytical report titled “Longevity Industry in UK Landscape Overview 2018.” This regional case study documented the factors that make the UK well-suited as a global Longevity industry hub, and provided insight on how to foster that potential. To reach its conclusion, the report profiled hundreds of relevant companies and investors, provided an overview of major UK Longevity nonprofits and research labs, and identified major industry trends. The report then utilised comprehensive infographics to distill industry data and conclusions into easily understandable summaries, and offered guidance on how various stakeholders and government officials could work to strengthen the industry and assist the UK to reach its full potential as a global Longevity Industry hub.
The October edition of the report will have this data fully revised and updated to ensure that Parliament is acting on the most up-to-the-minute data.
20 September 2019