Many Scientific advancements already treat the effects of ageing on the body but what if we can actually find ways to change the rate at which we age?
The International Centre on Ageing defined longevity as “an innovation that involves the adoption of changes, modest or substantial, in the process of ageing people, in their quality of life, in the spaces they inhabit and share, in the attention they receive and in social and family life”.
As humans live longer than ever before, the ‘Silver Economy’ is on the rise with the number of people over the age of 60 expected to grow from 900 million in 2019 to 2.1 billion by 2050.
One’s life expectancy can be affected by many environmental and genetic factors, ranging from diet, healthcare access and exercise to your occupation.
Companies such as Fauna Bio and Unity Biotech are developing new ways of countering the body’s ageing process with research into the biological processes behind animal hibernation which could provide insight into the manipulation of metabolic rates, blood flow and prevention of tissue damage. This could assist people who experience catastrophic events such as heart attacks or strokes. Medicines are also being developed which can potentially slow , halt or reverse age associated diseases whilst restoring human health.
A new phase of development is likely to feature augmented humans and the internet of body. This would include replacement of body parts and vital organs to extend the lives of individuals. These concepts are already being brought to fruition by companies such as LyGenesis , a longevity vision fund using lymph nodes to regrow functioning organs.
Many of the large, well known global tech brands alongside an army of start-up companies are investing in making these futuristic ideas a reality. Connected devices will, in the not too distant future, be affixed to the body to harvest greater data which can be leveraged by new machine learning and artificial intelligence systems to improve health care and extend the bounds of human mortality.
There is still a huge amount of untapped potential within this field and innovators can focus their efforts on the alteration of cells or redesigning of the human biological system or alternatively can look to cater for the ageing population through finding convenient and accessible solutions to age-related difficulties. For innovators and investors alike, it can be difficult to conceptualise the needs of those living to the age of 80, 90, 100 or even longer therefore market is ripe for innovation for those with the necessary vision.
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