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Published on August 22nd, 2013 | by Anneli Hidalgo

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Addressing aging at SALSS

The challenges of global aging are one agenda as the ninth edition of SALSS takes place in the Swedish capital.

According to tradition, the annual Swedish-American Life Science Summit opened during an evening reception. On the summer evening of August 21, the festivities started off at the Hotell Kung Karl Banquet. Special recognition was given to Mr. Tomas Puusepp, CEO at Elekta and opening remarks were presented by Ms. Barbro C Ehnbom, Chairman and Founder of SALSS. This was later followed by a Gold Sponsor Dinner at Delphi headquarters.
This year’s conference has a focus on global aging and opportunities for enhanced health utilizing regenerative medicine, including stem cells, which was clear on the second day of the summit. One of the speakers, Dr. Kenneth R Chien, Professor of Cardiovascular Research at the Karolinska Institute, gave an insight to the world of regenerative medicine, followed by a panel discussion on the new frontiers in regenerative medicine with Dr. Karin Hehenberger, Coronado Biosciences and Dr. Molly M Stevens, Professor of Regenerative Medicine, Imperial College, as some of the participants.

The afternoon session was devoted to addressing the present and future alarming concerns of global aging. “Aging is a huge economic problem and it is hitting the bottom line in every country”, said William A Haseltine, President of ACCESS Health International. The older the population, the more healthcare it consumes. This puts a big burden on society and on the economy of the world’s countries. The question is, as Mr Haseltine raised, what the medical community can contribute with in this aspect.

Dr. Brian K Kennedy, CEO of Buck Institute of Aging, pointed out that at the moment, the current healthcare system is about keeping people sick longer, not keeping people healthy. Also, this is driving up healthcare costs on a global scale. “We have to rethink how we do healthcare”, stated Kennedy and noted that one way is by extending the health span and intervening early on to slow down aging and preventing diseases.

In the upcoming issue of Nordic Life Science Review, you can read more about the 2013 SALSS conference.

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