Medicine is a field where data from the past and present can contribute to the future wellbeing of society.
Elgin are specialists in dental care but we have a clear philosophy, our patients health drives everything we do. That’s why we are making sure you are aware of a national initiative aimed at improving the UK’s position.
Our Future Health is a study originally launched in 2022, to better understand the health of our nation. The intention is to have millions of people allow anonymous access to their medical records, blood samples and DNA profiles.
Subject to a strict application process, this will be available to researchers from universities, health bodies, medical charities and the private sector. No data that can identify you will be provided and the work must be for the public good.
There will be times when, by choice, an individual receives information from their results. The prime objective is however to aid discovery of new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat serious, often prevalent illnesses.
A core wish is to fundamentally shift the focus of healthcare, to early diagnosis and prevention. So much of current care is about treatment, for conditions people may have had for decades without showing symptoms.
When many common diseases, including most cancers, respond better to early intervention, this is a contradiction which needs to be overcome.
Choosing To Take Part
Our Future Health hope to reach 5 million volunteers. By January 2023 they had reached 200,000, by March 300,000 and 400,000 by April. The number of mobile clinics is growing, where signing up and taking part is a fairly brief process.
You will need to complete a lifestyle and health questionnaire, have a blood test taken, your weight, height and blood pressure measured. Access to your NHS records is required, although information to identify you is not shared.
The reasons people state for taking part are essentially to help others live in good health in the future. This could be their children, families, or friends, perhaps anyone on the planet we all share.
You may see messages fom the NHS, or your GP, or dentist about taking part, or you can use this enrolment page to join in at any time.
The Dental View
Our mouth offers a valuable window to our health, with many conditions showing early symptoms there. A good dentist may detect diseases such as diabetes, heart conditions, osteoporosis, anemia, or oral cancers.
Equally, conditions in the mouth may have their origins in other conditions. Our oral and overall health are not divisible, the research Our Future Health leads to will ultimately benefit your dental health.
We also like the initiative’s focus on preventative care, which matches our own. This has the potential to renew the vision of healthcare, in time, allowing us to be treated for diseases before we know we have them.