(As we know,advancements in science is rapidly moving forward. We have breakthroughs in science and health as the time moves. We have to explore every avenue to have better health and longevity. The following is the future of medicine but it is also the medicine of today.Hope our respected New World readers will enjoy.) New World
(Personalized Medicine: From Theory to Practice)
P4 Medicine: What Are We Waiting For?
Posted on October 20, 2010 by Ryan Squire
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Ralph Snyderman, MD
By: Ralph Snyderman, MD
Chancellor Emeritus and James B. Duke Professor of Medicine, Duke University
Chairman, Proventys, Inc.
The current focus of health care is to treat episodes of disease rather than to prevent them. But now we have a better approach – finding each patient’s potential health risks, preventing diseases before they manifest, and treating them more coherently if they do.
The most exciting truth about personalized medicine, or P4 Medicine, is that the four Ps (Predictive, Preventive, Personalized and Participatory) can begin to be implemented even with today’s technology. It all starts with physicians and patients discussing the patient’s health, evaluating health risks and needs, and developing goals and plans to meet them. It is my hope that individuals will visit their doctor at least once a year so that their health and health risks can be evaluated and a plan created for what they should do to avoid them. It’s not good enough for patients to see the doctor only when they get sick. Patients, along with their physicians, need to be proactive and get involved with their health planning before illness occurs.
Personalized health planning is essential to successfully preventing and minimizing chronic disease. By recognizing the patient’s health risks and needs, physicians, along with the patient, can formulate a personalized health plan to address each patient’s needs. Not only does this provide the patient with better and more preventive medical care, planning gets the patient engaged in their own health. Too often, doctors attempt to treat patients without their involvement, input, or engagement. But with personalized health plans, patients are encouraged to proactively take more control of their own health instead of simply getting a prescription and calling it a day.
While P4 Medicine incorporates genomics as an aid to identify risks, it is not the same as genomic medicine. Genomic information can contribute to refining health risks, but there are many other ways to do this as well. Patients inherit different genetic health strengths and weaknesses, and defining these can be important as environmental factors also play a critical role in health and disease. Personalized health planning takes a broad view of how each individual’s health risks are determined and the individual’s health needs are translated into a plan of care over time.
P4 Medicine can begin with technologies that exist and information that is currently available. It can incorporate newer technologies as they become reliable. The best way to start a new concept such as P4 Medicine is to create a working clinical model and improve it as new knowledge is delivered.
A good example to illustrate the value of working models is the Wright brothers’ first flight. The idea and basic physics behind flight existed 100 years before the first flight took place in North Carolina but little progress was made until the flight occurred. Even though the first successful flight was brief and the airplane crude, once it worked, improvements occurred rapidly. We need to implement P4 processes immediately since once shown to be effective, they will be rapidly improved upon.
Thus, P4 Medicine can and should begin now. P4 Medicine is the medicine of the future, but it is also the medicine of today.
What barriers do you see to physicians creating annual health plans for each of his/her patients?
What techniques or programs do you think will work best to persuade or encourage patients to take more responsibility for better care to patients.