Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

Maintaining the health and well-being of people around the world requires significantly different approaches, regionally and locally. Biomedical and information technology advances, such as human genome analysis, are increasingly emerging, opening a wide field of innovation with the potential to disrupt the entire healthcare system for people everywhere. These advances are helping us understand why people die, while at the same time they are radically accelerating the time to cure.

We Need To Know Why People Die

To improve people’s health and well-being, it is imperative to understand why they die. In 2016, an estimated 56.9 million people died worldwide. The majority (71%) died from noncommunicable diseases (NCD), with cardiovascular problems, strokes, cancers, diabetes, and chronic lung diseases listed as the leading causes. Roughly 13 million people succumbed to infections such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, malaria, malnutrition, bad sanitation and hygiene, or poor maternal and neonatal conditions.

In high-income countries, almost 90% died from predominantly chronic NCDs, such as the ones listed above, plus dementia. Of these people, 7 out of 10 were older than 70. And, in these more affluent countries, only 1 out of 100 children under the age of 15 passed away.

In contrast, infectious diseases, such as lower respiratory infections, HIV/AIDS, diarrheal diseases, malaria, and tuberculosis were responsible for more than half of the deaths in lower-income countries. 4 in every 10 deaths were among children under 15 years of age, mainly caused by complications of childbirth due to prematurity, birth asphyxia, and birth trauma.

Based on these differences, it’s clear to see that increasing health or well-being of people around the world may require significantly different approaches regionally and locally.

Fight the disease of poverty with education and simple technology

Significant progress was made over the past decades to reduce infant mortality, even though the millennium goal of a 67% reduction was not met. Pneumonia is still the leading cause of child mortality, claiming more than 900,000 lives of children under the age of five every year, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. In fact, this disease claims more lives than the combined total of deaths from malaria, AIDS, and tuberculosis. In 2013, the World Health Organization and UNICEF launched the integrated Global Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD) to address the root causes of these deadly illnesses.

Poor living conditions, such as household air pollution and inadequate nutrition, amplify the risk of pneumonia, which can be called the disease of poverty. And even though preventive vaccines and curative medications are globally available at moderate costs, access to these life-saving treatments remains limited, especially in remote communities. Since early pneumonia symptoms are similar to those of other illnesses such as malaria or a regular flu, many children are misdiagnosed and receive incorrect treatment. Early and appropriate diagnoses, often available through local community health workers and low-level health facilities, could significantly increase the rate of infant survival.

The Malaria Consortium’s Pneumonia Diagnostics Project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, set out to identify and test simple and effective methods and technology to improve early infant pneumonia diagnosis. This project focused on South Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Cambodia. Health workers involved in this research used an easy and accurate assessment of breathing rates and blood-oxygen levels to support their diagnoses. And they evaluated the combination of local educational training with simple and robust devices that enable early and correct diagnoses to initiate appropriate pneumonia treatment and save the lives of children under the age of five.

Precision treatment for deadly diseases extends lives

Since the human genome was successfully analyzed roughly 10 years ago, biomedical and information technology advances are increasingly emerging, opening a wide field of innovation with the potential to disrupt the entire healthcare system. Diseases can now be understood at the genetic level, while prevention methods and treatments can be modeled and simulated at the molecular level. All of this radically accelerates the time to cure with increased ability to tailor personalized treatment plans, escaping the caveats of the traditional “one-size-fits-all” treatments for the “average” patient. Precision medicine can also be improved with machine learning, for example, to get deeper insight into the human genome.

The benefits of personalized precision treatments are many. They boost therapy success rates and increase the quality of patients’ lives while controlling healthcare costs with better, faster treatment and less waste on ineffective therapies. These kinds of advances can create a positive ripple effect on the economics of the entire healthcare system.

SAP is doing its part

SAP cares deeply about delivering insights and simplifying medicine to help diagnose, treat, cure – and ultimately prevent – diseases. This is a crucial part of our vision and purpose, which is to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. As an example, our technology is effectively used to help address cancer diagnosis and treatment.

We also believe that our long-term success as a company is the result of a healthy workplace culture. The Business Health Culture Index (BHCI) measures the general cultural conditions that enable employees to stay healthy and maintain a sense of well-being. We have seen that a 1% increase in our BHCI may have increased our operating profit by approximately €90-€100 million in 2018.

We have invested in health and well-being programs and solutions to help employees run at their best. For instance, Cancer Care Program, Employee Care Cycle for Mental Health, Mindfulness, and multiple physical activities help employees maintain balance and proactively protect personal health and performance. Since 2017, three global steps challenges were dedicated to the NGO Plant-for-the-Planet, resulting in the funding for ~46,500 trees and five academies for children. In these academies, the children learn to become Climate Justice Ambassadors and spread the word about climate change and the protection of our environment.

Qualtrics, Thrive Global, and SAP SuccessFactors are partnering to launch the Thrive XM Index, a groundbreaking tool to measure how the employees’ experiences and their well-being directly connect to business performance. The purpose is to help companies identify their employees’ experience gaps across the moments that matter and consequently improve their employees health and well-being.

More than 270,000 people in the Netherlands suffer from dementia and this number is expected to double by 2040. With still no cure in sight, there is a great need for solutions that increase the patients’ quality of life. Technology has the potential to revolutionize care. Together with ProXcellence and the Dutch Alzheimer Association, a team of experts from the SAP Leonardo NOW Tour event created a prototype app that helps to tap into the past of people with dementia. By just clicking, swiping and – of course – talking, memories come to life.

AstraZeneca is a global pharmaceutical company, delivering innovative medicines to patients worldwide. To help ensure a robust and reliable supply chain, AstraZeneca used SAP Enterprise Asset Management and SAP Work Manager cloud solution to gain real-time visibility of maintenance activities on the production floor.

Today, 132 million people worldwide are dependent on wheelchairs. And with the percentage of elderly people in western societies growing, the number of patients having to adapt to life in a wheelchair will only rise in the coming decades. A wrong sitting posture can have a severe negative impact on the well-being of these individuals, who will potentially require therapy that will add to healthcare costs. Dutch wheelchair manufacturer Life & Mobility GmbH uses IoT sensors and SAP technology to collect data coming from smart wheelchairs. Suggestions can then be relayed back to the patient on how to adjust their sitting behavior for greater comfort and health, improving their life in a wheelchair.

Hagleitner Hygiene International provides hygiene solutions to a variety of clients. Their senseMANAGEMENT solution, which was built using SAP technology, introduced an innovative hygiene management solution, automating the monitoring of dispensers in the field. For example, real-time data lets their customers know exactly when dispensers need to be refilled, or how often they are being used and how much disinfectant is being dispensed. That way, senseMANAGEMENT can predict when maintenance would be required, or when to place an order to prevent shortages. The system modernizes washroom facilities, increases customer efficiency and satisfaction, and strengthens compliance with health regulations.

It is estimated that every 40 seconds, somebody somewhere takes his own life. Surprisingly, it hasn’t been long since the topic of mental health has been regarded with the importance it deserves, and unfortunately, there are still stigmas and taboos surrounding this topic. Harris Logic is a long-standing leader of mental health services, trying to help break those taboos so that people don’t shy away from reaching out and trying to get the help they need. By combining their data from the last three decades with SAP technology, they are able to see population health-level trends and deliver data-driven crisis responses. This enables them to do precision-type, mental health assessments with a high rate of success in giving people the help they need at the right time.

By running their massive protein database, ProteomicsDB, on SAP HANA and IBM Power Systems, researchers at the Technical University of Munich are gaining the therapeutic insights they need to create highly targeted treatments for complex illnesses. With the ability to run up to eight SAP HANA database instances per server, TUM can continue adding data – enabling researchers to better understand biochemical processes and drive innovation.

When you have a medical condition, traveling to get injections and intravenous treatments can be challenging and have a profound impact on quality of life. With enFuse from startup company Enable Injections Inc., patients will be able to self-administer treatments for many conditions from anywhere. As they worked with pharmaceutical partners to bring this groundbreaking technology to market, Enable Injections needed to simplify business processes, including managing FDA compliance. Working with SAP partner Dickinson + Associates, they created a plan to grow with SAP solutions.

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Goal 4: Quality Education