The team at Outcomes Based Healthcare (OBH) has launched HealthSpan: measuring how long people remain in good health.  HealthSpan is a core measure for prevention that has the power to support a sustainable health system in the future.

The population-level measure identifies how long a population remains in good health, without a significant long-term condition (such as diabetes or serious mental illness), cancer, frailty or disability. The suite of measures includes HealthSpan:lifespan ratio, crude and risk-adjusted HealthSpan.

Improving healthspan by more than lifespan means that people would spend a larger proportion of their lives in good health.

According to the OBH team:

“We cannot continue to run health systems which just deliver excellent treatment once people have already started to become unwell. Particularly as there are now indications that we are seeing this happen earlier in people’s lives.”

Dr Jonty Heaversedge, Medical Director for Primary Care and Digital Transformation at NHS England (London) said:

“Shifting our attention to optimising wellbeing and helping people live healthier lives, will require a different approach to performance management. As we progress our plans to more integrated health and care services across England I would encourage anyone involved in planning, paying for, or delivering health services to start measuring healthspan.”

There are many evidence-based services, campaigns, products, devices and interventions, all geared towards delaying or preventing long-term conditions in the currently healthy population. In doing so, these interventions may be very good at improving population-level HealthSpan.

The issue is that health systems are not routinely measuring HealthSpan, in order to understand if these interventions are making a difference. Without this information, it’s very hard to make a business case for these interventions.

For more information about how HealthSpan is different from Healthy Life Expectancy, QALYs, DALYs, etc., view OBH’s comparison table here.

Opportunity for NHS sites to pilot HealthSpan tool

Are you interested in knowing the HealthSpan of your population? OBH are looking for NHS organisations who are interested in piloting the tool and measuring their population’s HealthSpan. If you are interested, email:

For more information visit

Read The Times coverage of early analysis carried out by OBH to understand the population’s HealthSpan here.