We aim to reduce the national burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and improve equity of health outcomes across New Zealand.
Our research teams have a proven track record.
The national scale of our research strategy and our collaborative approach will ensure that Healthier Lives will generate world-leading research.
The Challenge addresses four of New Zealand’s main non-communicable diseases (NCDs):
- Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
New Zealand’s NCD statistics are disturbing:
- $500m to $1,000m Vote Health dollars are spent each year on diagnosis and treatment of cancer-related events
- New Zealand’s incidence of colorectal cancer is among the highest in the world
- CVD kills more than one in three New Zealanders, and is responsible for more than 30,000 hospital admissions each year
- We have the third highest prevalence of obesity within OECD countries
- 8% of the adult population have type 2 diabetes (rising 7% per annum), and 25% have prediabetes
The key to changing this is delivering the right prevention to the right population and the right treatment to the right patient.
- We aim to reduce the health burden of these diseases by 25% by 2025
- We aim to reduce inequalities between populations by 25% by 2025
We plan to do this in partnership with stakeholders and communities by generating world class research, and translating our research findings into innovative health policy, practice, and technology, designed for New Zealand’s unique communities.
Five high-level research programmes have been identified as priorities:
- Personalised prevention through new technologies
- Minimally invasive markers for effective cancer diagnosis and treatment
- Enhanced CVD and diabetes risk reduction
- Delivering culturally centred health initiatives
- Slowing progression of prediabetes to diabetes
Five projects have been selected for initial funding from the Challenge. Four of these projects align directly to the first four research programmes, while the fifth is focused on data integration and will deliver across all the research programmes.
At this stage no projects align directly to the Slowing progression of prediabetes to diabetes programme. It is anticipated that projects aligned to this programme will be funded in the near future.
The initial projects address issues identified by stakeholders as requiring urgent attention. They build from existing research and capability, use the nature of the Challenge to stretch current approaches, and will deliver impact within the ten year time-frame:
- Supporting healthy lifestyles: A Māori and Pasifika mHealth approach
- Circulating tumour DNA for better cancer management in New Zealand
- Equitable CVD and diabetes risk prediction
- He Pikinga Waiora: Making health interventions work for Māori communities
- Virtual Health Information Network (VHIN): Capitalising on New Zealand’s health data