Special Issue


Guest editors:

Dr. Nino Adamashvili and Dr. Fiorella Pia Salvatore, University of Foggia

Prof. Dali Sekhniashvili, Georgian Technical University

Increased spending on resources for healthcare improves the health status of the population (Bein et al., 2017). However, there is no such simple link between healthcare spending and its direct outcomes. Healthcare costs have marginal benefits as well thus increasing expenditures to a certain level, does not necessarily have effect on health outcomes (Laba et al., 2015; Verulava, 2016).

It is important to set priorities and allocate finances correctly, to define which healthcare costs will be covered and what amounts (Chalkidou & Appleby, 2017). The idea that healthcare costs are simply considered to be expenditures that are needed to solve disease related issues, is widespread but often wrong. Other prevention activities are associated with healthcare costs, such as stimulating healthy lifestyles and healthy eating or increasing the quality of food. Besides, prevention activities and the funds allocated to this specific purpose, offer a much more effective solution rather than treating the disease once it presents itself (Nguyen et al., 2015).

In order to interest the population in making healthier choices, it is necessary to understand their perceptions. In the other words, there is a need to identify tools that measure emotional content of individuals when they find themselves having to make their own choices (Dimara & Skuras, 2015). It contributes positively if people are well informed and aware of the consequences that follow their choices, and it is additionally beneficial to drive people towards paying more attention to their daily habits, purchasing behavior, food safety and food certification standards (World Economic Forum, 2017; Belletti & Marescotti, 2007; Grunert & Ramus, 2005).

As for the food quality, genetic diversity, diet-related diseases costs, and similar aspects, it is important to keep in mind the elements of the whole production cycle “from farms to forks” (Heller & Keoleian, 2003). The food product is a multi-component system. Food is a complex set of organic and inorganic substances that the body receives from the outside world. Food raw materials and food itself may be contaminated by the use of dyes, preservatives, antioxidants or excessive standards; With pesticides; From dishes, inventory, tarra and packaging materials containing harmful substances in food; Endogenous toxic compounds produced by heat exposure or other technological processes; Failure to comply with the sanitary-hygienic requirements of storage and production throughout the food supply chain (Gaghokidze & Tabatadze, 2016). Consequently, control over the entire production cycle is crucial.

In addition, when considering food as a potential hazard train, attention should be paid to counterfeiting and production of genetically modified products. Transparency and traceability of the entire supply chain is an effective way to solve this problem (Xiaojun & Dong, 2006). It can also be protected by traditional methods, but modern technologies such as Blockchain greatly simplify this process and make it more efficient (Caro et al., 2018).

In many cases, Functional Food (FF) is important for avoiding diet-related diseases. FF is food, which is obtained after modifying the initial one by adding a new component beneficial to human health, either enhancing the existing one, or eliminating the one with harmful effects (Joshi et al., 2018). In order to obtain FF, that is, to improve the functional aspects of food and food ingredients, biotechnology is an important tool. It is often used to address current and future healthcare challenges (Grajek et al., 2005). However, in many cases consumers are skeptical about modified foods. Even if the attention in the world has increased towards healthy lifestyles for well-being in later years, in many regions there is still a major problem of consumers’ awareness about functional food and not only, also about the role of nutrition intake, physical activities and, in general, healthy lifestyle (Salvatore et al., 2018).

Prevention of diet-related diseases significantly reduces further treatment costs, but preventive activities (e.g. educational campaigns, increasing the food quality, etc.) are also costly. This special issue seeks to gain insight into current healthcare challenges, ways to address them, basic costs, and cost effectiveness.

The works cited:

Bein, M. A., Unlucan, D., Olowu, G., & Kalifa, W. (2017). Healthcare spending and health outcomes: Evidence from selected east african countries. African Health Sciences, 17(1), 247-254. doi:10.4314/ahs.v17i1.30

Belletti, G., Marescotti, A. (2007). Costi e benefici delle denominazioni geografiche (DOP e IGP). Agriregionieuropa anno 3 n°8, Mar 2007

Caro, M. P., Ali, M. S., Vecchio, M., & Giaffreda, R. (2018). Blockchain-based traceability in agri-food supply chain management: A practical implementation. Paper presented at the 2018 IoT Vertical and Topical Summit on Agriculture - Tuscany, IOT Tuscany 2018, 1-4. doi:10.1109/IOT-TUSCANY.2018.8373021

Chalkidou, K., & Appleby, J. (2017). Eliminating waste in healthcare spending. BMJ (Online), 356 doi:10.1136/bmj.j570

Dimara, E., Skuras, D. (2005). Consumer demand for informative labeling of quality food and drink products: a European Union case study. Journal of Consumer Marketing,22(2):90-100. doi: 10.1108/07363760510589253

Gaghokidze R., &Tabatadze L. (2016). კვებისპროდუქტთაქიმია / Food Chemistry. Publisher “Universal”, Tbilisi.

Grajek, W., Olejnik, A., & Sip, A. (2005). Probiotics, prebiotics and antioxidants as functional foods. Acta Biochimica Polonica, 52(3), 665-671.

Grunert, K. G., & Ramus, K. (2005, Giugno 1). Consumers’ willingness to buy food through the internet. British Food Journal, 107(6), 381-403.

Heller, M. C., & Keoleian, G. A. (2003). Assessing the sustainability of the US food system: A life cycle perspective. Agricultural Systems, 76(3), 1007-1041. doi:10.1016/S0308-521X(02)00027-6

Joshi, D., Roy, S., & Banerjee, S. (2018). Prebiotics: A Functional Food in Health and Disease. In Natural Products and Drug Discovery. 507–523. Elsevier.

Laba, T. -., Usherwood, T., Leeder, S., Yusuf, F., Gillespie, J., Perkovic, V., . . . Essue, B. (2015). Co-payments for health care: What is their real cost? Australian Health Review, 39(1), 33-36. doi:10.1071/AH14087

Nguyen, K. -., Chaboyer, W., & Whitty, J. A. (2015). Pressure injury in australian public hospitals: A cost-of-illness study. Australian Health Review, 39(3), 329-336. doi:10.1071/AH14088

Salvatore F.P., Adamashvili N., Chiara F., & Conto F. (2018). The Awareness of the People of Their Nutrition Intake: Comparison of Developed and DevelopingCountries (abstract), Global Business Conference 2018 Proceedings: Developing New Value-Creating Paradigms, 208-209.

Verulava T. (2016). Healthcare Cost Containment Mechanisms and Georgia’s Healthcare System. Institute for Development of Freedom of Information. www.idfi.ge. Retrieved from: https://idfi.ge/en/healthcare-cost-containment-mechanisms-and-georgias-healthcare-system. Last access 23.11.2019.

World Economic Forum. (2017). Global Shapers Survey - Annual Survey 2017. From “World Economic Forum”: http://www.shaperssurvey2017.org/static/data/WEF_GSC_Annual_Survey_2017.pdf

Xiaojun, W., & Dong, L. (2006). Value added on food traceability: A supply chain management approach. Paper presented at the 2006 IEEE International Conference on Service Operations and Logistics, and Informatics, SOLI 2006, 493-498. doi:10.1109/SOLI.2006.236713

Subject Coverage

Suitable topics include, but are not limited, to the following:

· The quality improvement challenges in the healthcare system

· Healthcare costs: diversity and their effectiveness

· Social insurance costs

· Promotion of healthy lifestyle

· The issues of food security and food safety

· The importance and difficulties of food certification process

· Blockchain technology – a driver for transparency of supply chain

· Trust worthiness of food

· Biotechnology for developing functional food

· The theory of Planned Behavior

· Consumers’ unawareness issue…



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