The benefits of precision medicine are plentiful and we’re learning more each day. Most of us hope not to see the inside of the emergency room or visit the doctor all too often, but for some people and some situation, this isn’t the case. Some chronic illnesses and diseases make it impossible to avoid being seen by physicians quite frequently. No matter what each individual is going through, there are advances in the healthcare industry that are making waves and strides toward helping us all to live better and longer. Specifically, the pursuit of precision medicines and medical directives will enable doctors to do so much.
Unless you are heavily involved in the healthcare community or do a lot of research into new technologies in healthcare, you probably don’t know what precision medicine is. Common sense from the phrase would tell you that it is more precise medicine and medical care, but it doesn’t indicate where precision comes from. No healthcare professional wants to make mistakes and the organizations they work within help to ensure that as few errors or situational confusion happen as possible. With health records now being digital and better communication occurring between healthcare facilities, precise care is taking place. But it goes much further than this: genetically, we are similar but unique. As University of Utah researchers has discovered, medicines and medical treatments respond slightly different in some people; things like how medicines are processed in the body or how chemotherapy may offer a cancer patient a better chance at eradicating the bad cells.
Precision medicine looks to treat each of us exclusively instead of the one-size-fits-all way in which we’ve all known all of our lives. The way in which this happens is to use our own DNA to help physicians to know the best way for treatment and also to personalize the medicine according to our DNA. This is already being tested when it comes to stem cell research and taking into consideration the environment and lifestyle of the patient. What this does is aids the body to heal itself better, eliminates the negative consequences that can be avoided, and helps whatever treatments are necessary to work in the most efficient manner possible.
Another benefit of precision medicine comes as a result of being tested for it: your genes never change, thus once your genetics have been recorded, the information will follow you the rest of your life. Especially now with medical records being in digital form, any doctor, with your permission of course, can access your medical history and provide the most accurate care possible.
Obviously, genes have not been fully mapped nor completely understood how everything works. As advances are discovered with genes and the mapping process continues to provide more information, the developments that can and will happen with precision medicine will also continue. Additionally, there is progress being made almost daily on better treating drugs, improvements to current care and understanding of the human body that will aid in precision medical decisions.
It almost goes without saying that death is an unfortunate, but predictable part of life. Those in the medical community are working to make sure that each of us gets the most out of each day, not just in the sense of being alive but also in the sense that the quality of life is better. As more is uncovered within the realm of precision medicines and as benefits are added upon, you will see the rise in the quality of life that everyone enjoys, as well as having less adverse effects while being treated for ailments. The benefits of the precision medicine are just beginning their journey of possibilities. Precision medicine takes advantage of information that has never been available to us in all of human history. There are ideas and concepts that look inward to the patient and outside for knowledge and patterns.
- Human genome sequencing for personalized medicine
- Improved analysis of biomedical data
- Use of big data analytics
- Expanded clinical trials for targeted drugs
- Better knowledge of drug-resistance diseases
There are enough information and support behind this movement that the government has thrown their hat into the ring, which included $216 million to fund progress and initiatives to aid things along the way. Specifically, the focus of this preliminary run is on cancer and cancer patients due to the intertwining of genetics and the biology of a breakdown of a disease. Precision medicine is able to look at the genetic
composition of a patient, understand how a type of cancer works within the body and to find treatment strategies that improve the overall care and outcome of the patient. As efforts show more success and treatments move into more of a preventative process measure, the expanse of precision medicine will increase.