Jack Kavanagh, pharmacist and disability activist, spoke at Future Human 2022 about the future of health and wellbeing.

“The place that I love the most was the place where my biggest challenge would arise from,” Jack Kavanagh told the Future Human audience in May.

Kavanagh was referring to a life-changing incident in 2012, when he sustained a spinal cord injury while swimming in Portugal and was left with only 15pc muscle function in parts of his body.

Since then, the young Irishman has become a pharmacist, disability activist and speaker, with multiple awards, a TEDx Talk and a documentary.

Touching on the future of health, he discussed the many advances in health technology today, why wellbeing is just as important as health, and how to live a healthy lifestyle – both physically and mentally.

“In terms of leaning towards the future of health and wellbeing, yes there’s the sexy, glamorous health innovation, health technology, pharma – all of these things that are doing incredible work on our health,” Kavanagh said.

“But there’s also places that we can look and learn from that are far less glamorous, but far more important … Modern science is showing that lifestyle medicine is an important part of how we move forward in a healthy way.”

This ranges from eating food that is close to hand, to getting regular simple movement, and focusing on community and stress relief. “These are things that are so fundamental, but we’re having to educate about them now.”

Words by Vish Gain