One million sign up to help change healthcare
The UK’s biggest ever medical research project – Our Future Health – has signed up its one millionth volunteer just over a year since it started recruiting.
Five million adults are expected to enrol in the program, which is funded by both government and industry.
Information about genetics, health, and lifestyle will be shared.
It is then that researchers look for treatments or ways to prevent diseases by analyzing the causes of disease.
After signing up online, participants are invited to visit a mobile health center, which often has a location in a supermarket parking lot.
During my visit to one of the centers on the outskirts of Oxford, I spoke to some of the volunteers. Each participant provided a blood sample and had their cholesterol, height, and blood pressure measured. Additionally, volunteers fill out online questionnaires about their lifestyles and medical conditions.
Originally from the Netherlands, Jaap Van Der Werf, 45, cycled six miles to his appointment. In order to maintain good health, he knows how important it is to keep fit.
My parents have heart issues, so I wanted to make sure I don’t have them. If I do, I want to make sure my children are prepared for their future.”
As far as our children’s and grandchildren’s health is concerned, I think it’s a good thing.
Our Future Health’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Raghib Ali, is a consultant in acute medicine in Oxford, so he spends some time in A&E.
Through Our Future Health, we want to move away from treating disease at a late stage when people have symptoms to identifying high-risk individuals earlier and intervening and preventing them before they develop disease.”