Archive for the ‘expectancy’ tag
By now, you’ve probably already heard that sitting all day is bad for you, but exactly how many hours of sitting may be too much? New research says reducing the amount of sitting to less than 3 hours a day can increase life expectancy by 2 years. More »
“If you want to live longer and healthier than the average American, then come to New York City.” - Mayor Bloomberg, December 27, 2011
True or not, I’ve always perceived that people in New York are slimmer and healthier than people elsewhere.
My theory has always been that while New York is perhaps the most stressful place to live in the U.S., its inhabitants are forced to walk more than any other city or metropolitan area.
For example, most people don’t have cars. Most can’t afford taxis most of the time. Most live above ground floor and don’t have an elevator. The NYC subway and bus system is mostly awesome, though the immensity of New York still requires walking several blocks from nearby stations to final destinations.
While I no longer live in New York, I still commute to New York from neighboring Westchester County. My daily commute includes a mile-long walk between my home and the train station. On pleasant days, it also includes a mile-long walk between Grand Central Station and my office in the Flatiron District. As a result, I walk, on average, three miles per day, whether I like it or not. I am not unusual.
The latest vital statistics are published and New Yorkers are living longer. And not only longer, but longer than most other Americans. According to a statement from the office of Mayor Bloomberg:
[B]abies born in New York City in 2009 have the record high life expectancy of 80.6 years, an increase of nearly three years since 2000 and nearly two and a half years more than the most recently reported national rate of 78.2 years. Life expectancy for 40-year-olds in New York City increased by 2.5 years (79.5 to 82) from 2000 to 2009, a substantially greater gain than the 1.2 year increase for the same age group in the U.S. as a whole. At the same time, life expectancy for 70 year-olds in New York City increased 1.5 years, compared with .7 years for the nation. Not only did the City’s life expectancy rate surpass the national rate, it improved faster than any major city for both women and men.
Indeed, Bloomberg (whom I think is a great mayor) credits these positive trends to his administration’s policies. I’m sure they had some impact, along with other factors.
But I have to believe that walking is at the core of New York vitality — far more than anything else.
Almost two years ago now, I left the world of retail agencies to join up with a specialist: one of the leading healthcare marketing organizations in the world. It was a good opportunity to refocus on digital and innovation, but, I'll admit:
I was pretty nervous about it.
I had the same question almost every job candidate I talk to now asks: What's it like to work for pharma (often asked with a grimace)?
If there's an industry out there with a black hat, it's this one.
Pick your complaint: cost, claims, commercials that warn of anal leakage. (ew)
Working inside this industry, though – it's a completely different story. And, the gap, I think is what regulations can do to communications.
Here's what I like about it:
I've never been closer to my customer:
Close your eyes and think of a patient. Chances are that word brings to mind someone in a hospital gown shuffling down a hospital hallway. The truth is that most "patients" are people out living their lives who happen to also have a chornic or acute disease to deal with. Getting that context that keeps real people at the center of what we do requires a lot of listening. I've read blog posts to packed conference rooms like a preacher at a pulpit. Watched patient advocates paint (literally) pictures of what the experience is really like. LIstened to survivors talk about how being diagnosed changed how they and their families live their lives… it is incredibly powerful stuff that will completely change perspectives and create better, more advocacy-minded work.
Or more challenged to figure out how to make a big idea work:
If you've ever worked in a highly-regulated industry (finance, military, health), you know the easiest answer is no. The hurdles are high. The rewards in the distance (and the reprecussions close in).
Getting a big new idea through the system can seem daunting, if not impossible. Creating the business case, the compelling experience, the can't-miss storytelling around a new technology, a new tool, a new market is harder here than it is anywhere (and it's that much more rewarding when it pays off for the people we ultimately serve).
All in an industry that really is changing people's lives
90% of new treatments and drugs are created by private industry (plus/minus depending on whose numbers you look at – either way, most). Those new treatments extend and improve life: In the last two decades of the 20th century, new medicines accounted for 40% of the increase in life expectancy in more than 50 countries (Columbia University economist Frank Lichtenberg). In other words, for every year that life expectancy has increased, five months can be attributed to the availability of new medicines.
Believe it or not, marketing plays a significant role is making these new drugs available. Physicians are busier now than ever – longer days, more patients, more paperwork. The time they spend in the exam room is down to an average of 7 minutes/person. The treatments they rely on tend to be the ones they learned in residency. Bringing innovation to the practice, well, that's what we do here.
Is it perfect? No way. No business is. But I'll take this over selling you a holiday ham most any day.
According to futurist Sonia Arrison, the big technological revolution today isn’t the Internet. It’s a personalized healthcare revolution that will radically change not only our life expectancy, but the very nature of existence itself. According to Arrison, whose latest book 100 Plus argues that our average lifespan will double in the 21st century, we are on the brink of being able to engineer our own bodies over the network.
The opportunities for entrepreneurs from this revolution, Sonia Arrison told me when she came into our San Francisco TechCrunchTV studio last week, are immense. From education to medical engineering start-ups to the 3-D printing of organs, this, she says, is the new promised land for technology entrepreneurs. I think Arrison is right. So it’s probably time to forget that new social network and focus on a start-up that guarantees the privacy of genomic data or enables the 3-D printing of blood vessels.
The dangers of this world are immense too, of course. From privacy and overpopulation to the dreadful boredom of living forever, Arrison’s healthcare revolution could represent a nightmare for us all. It’s Huxley’s Brave New World all over again, of course. Only this time, it might not be fictional.
Sonia Arrison is a futurist and policy analyst who has studied the impact of new technologies on society for more than a decade. A Senior Fellow at the California-based Pacific Research Institute (PRI) and a columnist for TechNewsWorld, she is author of two previous books as well as numerous PRI studies on technology issues. A frequent media contributor and guest, her work has appeared in many publications including CBS MarketWatch, CNN, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street…