Opening health for all: 7 Research Topics shaping a healthier world

Despite recognizing health as a fundamental human right, we currently live in a world where half the population can't access the medical care they need, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In response, World Health Day 2024 rallies under the theme "My health, my right," demanding quality healthcare, clean air, and healthy environments for all.

The call aligns with Sustainable Development Goal #3: good health and well-being, which includes targets such as universal health coverage and strengthening the capacity of all countries, particularly developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction, and management of national and global health risks.

To second this mission, we have picked 7 Research Topics that tackle some of the world's toughest healthcare challenges. These topics cover ensuring everyone's access to healthcare, life-limiting illness as a public health challenge, and the ethical challenges in digital public health.

All articles are openly available to view and download.

1 | Public Health in the Context of Life-Limiting Illnesses: Patient-Centered Care in Advanced and Life-Limiting Illnesses

Palliative care is holistic, person-centered care and has played a critical role in recent disease outbreaks, environmental disasters, and other humanitarian crises. It is also integral to public health and public health strategies.

At least 60% of people who die have a prolonged advanced illness. The need for palliative and end-of-life care will increase due to the rapidly aging world population and the increase of multiple long-term conditions.

Consequentially, this Research Topic discusses advanced and life-limiting illness as a public health challenge. It also explores the role of palliative and end-of-life care, including rehabilitation, in shaping person-centered care.

25,000 views | 16 articles

2 | Ethical Considerations for Digital Public Health

Public health guidelines and policies relating to digital public health are essential to protecting the population. Accessing health services entails an obligation of care, and understanding the role of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is also necessary.

That’s why this Research Topic focuses on ethical challenges in digital public health. It highlights advances in public health and the ethical questions that may arise when considering the best practices for tools such as AI and ML.

24,000 views | 10 articles

3 | Cardiovascular Health in Children and Adolescents: Present and future

Cardiovascular disease is the most common chronic non-infectious disease and is ranked as the number one cause of death in the world. Although usually manifested at older ages, massive studies have shown that cardiovascular risk factors are tracked from childhood and adolescence to adulthood.

Good cardiovascular health in childhood and adolescence is thus highly important for preventing the development of cardiovascular disease. With this purpose in mind, we introduce a Research Topic that sheds light on the current situation and future cardiovascular health trends in children and adolescents.

14,000 views | 34 articles

4 | Nutrition and Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing

Good nutrition leads to improved health and well-being, which is one of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Therefore, this Research Topic focuses on nutrition in this context and other relevant SDGs.

Among others, it covers topics such as nutrition and physical and mental health, the role of nutrition in non-communicable and infectious diseases, universal health coverage, and the influence of data platforms on dietary shifts.

28,000 views | 41 articles

5 | Evidence-based approaches in Aging and Public Health

Aging is having a global and significant impact on health, finance, the economy, and society. It is crucial to have an evidence-based approach to understanding the causes of diseases and preventing or treating them.

In this Research Topic, scientists explore evidence-based medicine applied to aging populations, the application of AI and digital markers for early disease detection, and tools, algorithms, guidelines, and policies to facilitate healthy aging, among other matters.

23,000 views | 15 articles

6 | Education in Public Health: 2022

Public health professionals play a vital role in maintaining the health and well-being of the population by working to prevent disease and ultimately prolong individuals' lives.

These researchers work to influence policy, educate everyone on improving their health, and bridge the inequality gap by encouraging equal opportunities for the whole population.

Considering this reality, this Research Topic addresses the current issues faced by principal investigators, lab managers, and student supervisors who educate and train new and early-stage researchers in the field of public health.

15,000 views | 18 articles

7 | Urban Green Spaces and Human Health

Urban green spaces significantly impact living conditions and public health, which are closely associated with several SDGs, including SDG #3: good health and well-being.

Numerous studies have linked access to green spaces—such as the quality and distribution of green space, distance from home, and diversity of non-human elements—to various aspects of health, including birth weight, body mass index, mental and cardiovascular illnesses, and mortality rates.

Accordingly, this Research Topic focuses on recent advances and research on the theory and application of urban green spaces and human health to enhance urban green space's environmental sustainability and contribute to global fair and inclusive sustainable development.

19,000 views | 17 articles