Sergey Young: Affordable Longevity Becomes a National Health Goal for UK

Sergey Young, longevity visionary and a man known for his ambitious plans to extend healthy lifespans of at least 1 billion people around the world, started his mission in the UK.

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Joining the inaugural All-Party Parliamentary Group for Longevity, which is helping to shape UK’s strategy on life extension, at a meeting in London on 9th July 2019, Sergey Young, together with fellow Financial Advisory Board Members, deliberated Prime Minister Theresa May’s national health goal: to increase the average life expectancy of people in Britain by five healthy years by 2035.

The number of people reaching the age of 100 in the UK has quadrupled in the past 30 years and is likely to quadruple again by 2035. However, while the gap between retirement and death is growing, so is the social gap between the rich and the poor: the difference in the average life expectancy between the highest and lowest earners in the UK is 9 years, and the difference in the healthy life expectancy is a shocking 19 years. Nevertheless, longevity “should not just be the preserve of the wealthy – everyone, of every background and income level, has the right to enjoy a happy and active retirement” Theresa May said during her speech on Science and Modern Industrial Strategy, highlighting that social inclusion should be at the heart of the government’s national strategy on longevity.

In his speech at the APPG, Sergey Young also addressed the need for an affordable and accessible program – one that is able to engage the participation of every citizen in the UK. Affordability and accessibility have been the two longtime pillars of Sergey’s moonshot of bringing longevity to 1 billion people. Overly ambitious? Sure. Completely unrealistic? With Big Tech companies such as Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Apple rapidly replacing customary healthcare providers, and the latter company already having reached a 1.4 billion active installed base of devices, Sergey sees investing in longevity-related technology as a gateway to achieving his mission and being able to reach the target numbers. To do this, he set up the $100M US-based Longevity Vision Fund in order to invest in longevity breakthroughs that have the potential to be scalable and affordable for the mass population. As the Development Sponsor, Sergey will also help to launch Longevity XPRIZE next year – a US-based initiative to tackle aging on a global scale.  

With Sergey’s experience supporting longevity on both sides of the Atlantic, he notes that the approach in the US and the UK couldn’t be more different. “Whereas the majority of industry developments in the US are driven by private enterprise and venture capital, a great deal of activity in the UK is propelled by government involvement” he said, highlighting the direct involvement of UK's Minister of Health with the APPG for Longevity. Another striking difference is that “whereas in the US the largest focus is on scientific developments (biomedicine, biotech, etc.), the UK places a great priority and emphasis on the economic implications of aging and Longevity for government, financial and healthcare sectors.”

During his speech at the APPG for Longevity, Sergey Young also discussed his hopes of turning UK’s longevity program into a global-scale effort. UK could be exemplary in its national longevity efforts, and be open to collaboration with other countries, leading to an international inflow of talent, investment, and creating vast economic opportunity arising from a healthier, more productive retirement-aged population. We are entering a new longevity era, a revolution not only at the forefront of science and technology, but also at the crux of highly regulated areas such as finance and insurance, being disrupted by the opportunities and consequences of extending healthy human lifespans.