Upstream Doctors

A couple of weeks ago I read an article about new initiatives that treat health issues at their source. They call themselves ‘upstream doctors’, working to beat sickness and disease at their source, before people are affected.

One group of the upstream healthcare movement is the startup called HealthBegins. It is a self-described ‘think and do tank’ of doctors and public health experts that demonstrate how a smarter health care system improves health where it begins. Such as places where we live, work, eat, learn and play. HealthBegins works for the sake of health professionals who are ‘not content with a system that simply sends patients back to the same conditions that make them sick.

In this way, health care isn’t about treating people who are already sick. Instead it’s a way to prevent the unhealthy social conditions that cause disease. For example your office or school, and that’s where architecture and building materials come into the equation. In the Netherlands the costs of healthcare are starting to increase. The growth is mainly because of the increasing use of healthcare. That’s why we should focus more on preventing diseases instead of treating them.

But healthier buildings are not the only way to prevent yourself from getting sick. For example, a scarf that could stop you from getting a flu. Scough is a designer scarf that looks stylish while also using antimicrobial technology to keep germs out. Another example is the online flu predictor. This online tool tells you when the flu will strike in your city, more than two months in advance.




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