To get two more healthy and active years of life, we must fully commit to prevention. That means staying healthy, recognizing and preventing illnesses at an early stage, and reducing the consequences of illnesses. The more research we do into the development of diseases, the more similarities we see: it often starts with an unhealthy lifestyle. This has unhealthy consequences, which in turn lead to all kinds of different diseases. But what’s behind an unhealthy lifestyle? If we investigate this and develop a person-centered approach to a healthy lifestyle based on this, we can prevent all kinds of problems.
A healthy basis
TOPFIT creates new ways of working together with the basic Prevention program. In this way we make a healthy lifestyle accessible to everyone in the eastern Netherlands. Both for the ordinary citizen in the neighborhood, the employee of a company and someone who has a chronic condition. Exercise, quitting smoking, healthy and fresh food, low stress, feeling at home in your environment and sleeping well; what makes this difficult for many people? How do we encourage a healthy lifestyle and make it easier to maintain it? We are dealing with all kinds of complex matters:
- Deeply rooted habits and behaviors
- Difference between rich and poor
- Underlying social problems such as debt, parenting, learning delay and loneliness
- Culture, habit and status
- To be familiar with Dutch healthcare and to be able to (dare to) ask for help in time
- Knowledge of social aid organizations Differences between neighborhoods and regions
In the basic program we are developing an innovation ecosystem that also includes TOPFIT’s mission programs (diabetes, kidney diseases, cardiovascular diseases, musculoskeletal systems). Our goal is to enable a “regional infrastructure for healthy and resilient citizens”. We do this on the basis of three pillars:
- We are setting up a learning network of regional prevention clusters
- We conduct research with a focus on citizen science (research into methodologies) and social innovation with technology in care and welfare (innovation and implementation research)
- We develop a data position and infrastructure (data flows arising from the care path that a patient goes through, new data standards of citizens, research into applications with artificial intelligence)
Close to the citizen
Because prevention is such a complex theme, we want a broad approach in which all important parties play a role. Together we look at unhealthy lifestyles. In addition to the large universities and vocational training courses, think of organizations in the municipalities and in the neighborhoods that are close to the citizens and know well what is going on. Many regions are already committed to prevention and have developed strong cooperation. Examples include the Community of Care Gelderland-Midden, Groen Gezond and in Beweging Nijmegen, Vitaal Twente and GroZzerdam Deventer.
In these special field labs (test environments in the neighborhood), people are now working on innovative solutions, such as digital games for children, nutrition apps, group interventions, adjustments in the living environment, sensors that measure movement and encourage you to become more active. By working with these communities, we find out what residents really need. They also ensure that everyone – from family doctor to community worker and resident – speaks the same language and has the same goals.
TOPFIT brings together the prevention clusters in the field of health care and social welfare, ensures the connection between the field labs, creates insight into why a solution works in one neighborhood or with that one disease, and not in or with another. We transfer the lessons we learn to other regions and even further: the whole of the Netherlands and Europe. Together we lower the barriers to a healthy lifestyle.
We cordially invite all citizen, care and welfare initiatives to get in touch with TOPFIT. We can help each other and learn from each other. Together we aim for a vital region that has something to bring to the rest of the world, and we work on being and staying chronically healthy.