Illness VS Wellness



Ellen Gunning shares insights from a recent presentation by Prof. Martin Curley of Maynooth University.

Professor Martin Curley recently spoke about his vision for healthcare in Ireland. In Ireland, we apparently have one of the worst public healthcare systems in Europe – we rank 22nd out of 35. We are also, at this point in time, one of the richest countries in Europe. Go figure!!

Wellness Spending

His presentation centered on the fact that 97% of all money injected into public healthcare is spent on illness, while just 3% is spent on wellness. When you think of how much more economically viable we would be if most people were healthy and did not require treatment, you begin to see the sense of flipping to spend 97% on wellness and 3% on illness.

He pointed out that, in the future, the focus will shift from doctor-led to patient-led, a movement from “doctor knows best” to “patient knows best.” He also identified a shift from hospital to home. Most people would prefer to be in their homes if they are ill, and modern technology is enabling this more every day.

Photo Credit – tadamichi from Getty Images

Episodic to Continuous

A shift from episodic to continuous is also on the cards. Instead of recurring episodic incidents, he believes that artificial intelligence will allow us to intervene before the episode and will allow people to live healthier lives.

Finally, he also pointed out that, with AI advances, one nurse could now look after 100 patents and monitor their conditions, which would lead to improved quality of life of the patient, and create less need for emergency medical intervention and therefore less cost.

Note: Martin Curley is Professor of Innovation at Maynooth University,

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