Expert Jason Hope on using AI to learn from pandemic
Since the initial recognition of COVID-19, and throughout the remarkable trajectory of the global pandemic to date, the scientific community has sought to garner unprecedented insight regarding the connection between Coronavirus, and a myriad of human connections. From the Epidemiologists investigating patterns of infection throughout the world to the Biologists seeking an effective vaccination, the scientific community is brimming with brilliant minds searching for ways to gain an understanding of the pandemic, the human body, modern disease mitigation, and the impacts of COVID-19 on other aspects of the general lifespan. For Jason Hope, along with researchers in the niche field of longevity studies, the Coronavirus pandemic has opened a breadth of new considerations, topics of study, and important connections that could impact the quest for long-term wellness and preservation.
As a widely renowned thought leader and champion within the realm of human longevity research, expert Jason Hope has dedicated his breadth of time, experience, and knowledge to propel technology, public understanding, and research needed to propel the field. With a firm belief in the potential benefits that a broader understanding of human longevity can provide, the entrepreneur and mentor, who previously developed a successful mobile communications company, now focuses on leveraging his skills to drive the field forward. Recently, shed light on the connection between artificial intelligence, human longevity, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
In discussing the impact of COVID-19 within the field of longevity studies, Hope sat down with the Director of Aging Research at King’s College London, Dr. Richard Siow. After his own firsthand experience with battling Coronavirus-like symptoms, Siow spoke at length about the experience, his understanding of the pandemic as it related to human longevity, and what the scientific community can learn from the current Coronavirus pandemic.
In speaking about his experience, Siow shared that he “did stop taking the immunosuppressives for the two weeks to try and recover, so I’ve also had an increase in my arthritis symptoms. So you can see that there are consequences for my Longevity by having an underlying health condition.” According to Hope, it can be surmised that individuals who test positive for COVID-19 may experience a myriad of symptoms, potentially more difficult to deal with in the presence of other already present healthcare conditions. Thus, when utilizing medications or treatments to combat the symptoms of Coronavirus, these individuals may experience a resurgence of symptoms related to their other existing conditions, sparked by medication interaction, or a push-and-pull effect of the human body. In this sense, the presence of COVID-19 in any individual can directly impact overall wellness, the aging of the body, and the prospect of increasing longevity.
With these vastly important conclusions in play, it is important for professionals within the field of anti-aging and human longevity to research ways to mitigate the negative impacts of infectious diseases like COVID-19 in terms of longevity. While Dr. Siow’s previous studies focused primarily on cardiovascular aging, the current pandemic’s interference with human longevity has motivated him to pivot his studies. Dr. Siow has stated, “my interest now is to align my research background and the longevity consequences of COVID-19 and see how my research might be able to mitigate and prevent some of these long term impacts on health and wellness and also future infections.” As a trusted thought provider in the field, Hope touts that this increased focus on maintaining longevity efforts for individuals affected by infectious conditions like COVID-19 will undoubtedly create a much more informed, efficient, and successful blueprint for action, in the event of a future pandemic outbreak.
While the presence of Coronavirus presents immediate risks and dangers to individuals, it also poses long-term concerns and can exacerbate conditions that may remain dangerous long after the virus leaves the individual. While a “full recovery” may signal the disappearance of immediately related COVID-19 symptoms, it doesn’t account for the potentially grim aftermath that the presence of Coronavirus may leave behind. Experts like Jason Hope ponder the notion that COVID-19 could potentially predispose individuals to the future emergence of age-related conditions, including dementia, heart disease, and other serious medical considerations. Thus, increasing overall human resilience may be the key to boost overall wellness, longevity, and health, which could minimize the seriousness of symptoms for future outbreaks.
In seeking scientifically backed answers to these very current considerations, Dr. Siow looks to personalization, technology, and artificial intelligence to customize prevention to meet the needs of every individual. At the Longevity AI Consortium, a King’s College initiative focused on marrying industry and academic personnel to create personalized aging insights, garnering insight from healthy individuals is the first step to creating a roadmap for maintaining wellness. To do this, Dr. Siow looks at specific biomarkers for wellness to create proactive planning to retain health and wellness through positive intervention. Championing the potential impact of this proactive approach, Hope notes that creating a bespoke and effective proactive regimen for individuals to follow could greatly impact their ability to harness an efficient immune system and be best prepared to stave off potential complications throughout another outbreak like the current Coronavirus pandemic.
Bridging the tech-based advancements with the practical consumer-facing application will be the key to generating universal data sets that can then be analyzed, and utilized to create trustworthy statistics, recommendations, and information that can undoubtedly help individuals across the globe. While this sector remains fragmented, philanthropists and investors like Jason Hope believe that through constant advancement, the marriage of AI, technology, science, and medicine, will be able to propel the field of anti-aging and human longevity forward. With broad considerations for the myriad of ways that different facets of human functionality impact longevity on a long-term basis, growth within the field can unlock answers that can help countless individuals to remain healthy well into the geriatric age. Furthermore, in times of a global healthcare crisis, the field of longevity can offer unparalleled insight into how conditions like COVID-19 can impede longevity, exacerbate tertiary conditions, and create long-term negative effects.