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FRESHER takes up the challenge of employing and interfacing both qualitative foresight techniques with quantitative microsimulation modelling to come up with innovative policies able to tackle the burden of non-communicable chronic diseases (NCDs).

The European Public Health Alliance is partner in an EU funded Horizon2020 project known under the acronym ‘FRESHER’ – a foresight and policy modelling collaborative research project that started in 2015 and has now successfully completed its first year of activity. FRESHER takes up the challenge of employing and interfacing both qualitative foresight techniques with quantitative microsimulation modelling to come up with innovative policies able to tackle the burden of non-communicable chronic diseases (NCDs).

Non-communicable chronic diseases such as diabetes, liver disease, cancers, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease and mental health disorders account for well over 70% of disease burden in Europe and have a serious impact on human development, productivity and the cost of healthcare. Factors that contribute to the steady rise of NCDs are found, not only in individual behaviour and genetic predisposition, but also include key aspects such as environmental risks, access to services, innovation, gender and the social environment.

The model developed by FRESHER aims to account for all these factors and will result in a tool able to test different policy options against different health relevant future scenarios developed by the consortium with participation of key stakeholders.

In the first year of the project FRESHER convened a variety of stakeholders from different fields and from three different European regions to participate in the foresight exercise to determine trends and drivers of NCDs and to discuss their impact and regional implications. Outputs produced in this collective endeavour will drive the next steps in the scenario-building approach that will later interface with the quantitative part of the project.

As communications leader in FRESHER, EPHA has produced a video that summarises a crucial part of the stakeholder contribution and structured dialogue.

As the project is set to evolve over the course of the next two years, the stakeholder approach will be further extended to include EU, as well as regional level policy makers. You can learn more about FRESHER through the video here:

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