PreventionX: Catalyzing Innovation to Enable Healthy Choices
At HHS we often ask ourselves: why have we yet to make a significant dent into the rising rates of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension among Americans? What can we and others do differently to treat preventable chronic diseases, with the same sense of urgent response we have for infectious disease outbreaks?
Scalable, effective prevention strategies that address chronic conditions in the context of where people live, learn, work, and play have the potential to improve the health of everyone living in a community. With PreventionX, we are exploring these questions and as part of that process are asking for public input. We know this is by no means an unknown problem. The public health community has been calling for action for decades; billions of dollars are invested annually to encourage healthy choices; focus among governments and others is increasingly beginning to examine the role of social determinants of health.
Evidence shows that many chronic diseases can be prevented by eating well, being physically active, avoiding tobacco, and excessive drinking, and getting regular health screenings. This evidence has been translated to programs, policies, and practices actionable by the public health community. But, somehow, it feels like we don’t have a set of solutions that really enable the kind of scale and adoption that is required to turn the tide on a population health level. Despite improvements in some leading health indicators like blood pressure control and physical activity, chronic conditions remain common and costly. We think we’ve started uncovering at least some of the root barriers.
Traditionally, developing, testing, and improving evidence-based prevention programs takes a long time, sometimes decades, leading to low levels of innovation that scale beyond local communities. On another front, we know adoption is a key barrier. We see it in the low adherence rates for diabetes and hypertension medication. These are not trivial problems. They require broad and deep partnerships and collaboration among the brightest people across the country. We know we must address them to maintain our economic and national security leadership across the world.
What is PreventionX?
PreventionX is a new concept we’ve begun exploring, recognizing the need for enhanced approaches to chronic disease prevention. On October 29, 2019, we published a request for information (RFI) to better understand:
- Existing effective prevention interventions or promising practices;
- Barriers to effective prevention programs; and
- Opportunities for scientific and technological advancements, innovative partnerships, and human-centered design to create and scale new models of chronic disease prevention.
Transforming Chronic Disease Prevention
Progress towards innovative solutions and models for adoption is already happening. Some examples of solutions leveraging new platforms, datasets, and strategies to address barriers to chronic disease prevention and improving health outcomes include:
- Community Resource Referral Platforms
- Virtual Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP)
- Ride Share Programs to Address Healthy Food Access
- Local Wellness Funds/Community Trusts
Chronic disease prevention has the potential to improve and save lives for millions of Americans.
Help advance chronic disease prevention in the US. Respond to the Request for Information by December 20, 2019.
Attend our PreventionX RFI Webinar on December 4, 2019 to hear more from the HHS PreventionX team.