HALE — Unification Theory for Clinical Medicine and Population Health

Iom.edu: October 25, 2013

In this discussion paper, Teutsch, Chokshi, Stine and Fielding propose using a summary measure of population health, the Health-Adjusted Life Expectancy or HALE, as tool to integrate or unite the public health focus on geographic populations and the clinical focus on individual patients. HALE can be used to explain and assess the effects of interventions on individual patients and on populations. For example, a health care provider could use the concept of HALE to discuss with a patient the effects of taking medication to control hypertension, or of introducing exercise and diet changes. Similarly, because “population HALE is simply the aggregate of individuals’ HALE,” decision makers in communities could weigh the effects on the population HALE of various types of interventions (e.g., designing safer streets, increasing tobacco taxes) to help set priorities. Read More