Modern medicine has come a long way. We’re well past the days of leeches and laudanum, but we still have a lot to learn when it comes to making personalized medicine the standard of care. 2021’s The Future of Healthcare, a HealthLynked Summit brought together physicians from all over the world to share medical advancements, along with how we can best make the shift from traditional medicine to personalized medicine for all. Genomics are a key tool in understanding the root causes of disease and lifestyle interactions that affect a patient’s health.
What Is Genomic Medicine?
Genomic medicine is the study of DNA and gene interaction with one another and the environment. Genomics is an emerging field that allows physicians to tailor a treatment plan for each patient, rather than simply proscribe what will work for most patients. If we want to provide better quality care to the 20% of people who suffer chronic conditions or can’t benefit from traditional medicine, then we need to look at the root causes of their conditions.
According to Dr. Susan Hausman-Cohen at The Future of Healthcare, “Heart disease is not caused by the absence of statins. The root cause of depression is not the absence of Prozac. Once we know the cause of a condition, which will usually be a genetic factor, then we can recommend interventions that will work.”
Traditional Versus Personalized Medicine
Traditional medicine treats the disease or ailment. The same treatment will work on the same disease in roughly 80% of all patients. But what about the outliers, the other 20% of patients? “This is where functional medicine and genomics step in,” says HealthLynked Provider, Dr. Maristany of Naples Center for Functional Medicine. “Traditional medicine is fantastic when dealing with acute and critical conditions. The problem is that we have chronic conditions that burden Americans.” Chronic conditions can have a multitude of causes and can differ from individual to individual. Genomics allows doctors to skip trial and error and go right for the intervention that will best serve the patient.
How Are Genomics Used?
Applications for genomic technology are largely undiscovered and quite possibly infinite. Genomics is currently used to identify and diagnose genetic factors that contribute to disease. It’s also used in pharmacogenetics and targeted therapies to predict how a person will respond to certain drugs or treatments. These applications only scratch the surface of what the technology can offer to medicine. To learn more about genomics, and to hear about real cases where genomics were used in personalized medicine, visit here to access The Future of Healthcare, a Virtual Summit.