In the course of life, all humans face challenges to their physical and mental health. Many internal and external factors contribute to the risk of disrupted behavior or disease while others protect against disturbing influences.
In a unique collaboration, researchers from medical and social disciplines - varying from primary care, epidemiology and psychiatry to education and child studies and psychology - are working closely together on understanding the complexity of the human organism and its interactions with the environment, ranging from families and genes to social-economic factors.
Studying these factors may contribute to a better understanding of health in general. In addition, valuable clues for primary and secondary prevention may be generated, provided that we consider the complexity of the human organism and its interactions with the environment, ranging from families to mass media and from genes to socio-economic status.
Furthermore, risk and protective factors have various outcomes in the successive stages of life. Insight into these factors can contribute to a more evidence-based approach in primary and secondary prevention, and in mental and physical health care. Methodological tools to address these questions vary from genetic studies and following large cohorts of people, to direct observation and intervention studies.
Since routine health data may provide an important key to identify risk groups, an important aim is to create a data infrastructure in which primary care routine health data are integrated and linked with data from other relevant disciplines and domains. With regard to actual problems on health and behaviour, this data-infrastructure will encourage interdisciplinary exchange, collaboration and research.
This perspective is reflected in the National Scientific Agenda 2016. Within the National Scientific Agenda, which is elaborated by several academic and societal institutions, the third 'research route' is directed on research in health care on the field of prevention and treatment. This research route emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration on the questions mentioned above, with the use of modern technologies, reuse, analysis and feedback of routine care data and eHealth applications.
As a result, tailor made interventions targeted to specific risk groups may be developed and realised. On an individual as well as societal level, this will support personalization of health care and lead to increased proactive population health management strategies.