Medical Tech

7 Ways That Personalized Medicine Will Revolutionize Healthcare and Drug Research


7 Ways That Personalized Medicine Will Revolutionize Healthcare and Drug Research

Personalized medicine or practical medicine is a method of ensuring that the medical treatment given fits the person. A 15-year-old girl is very different from a 70-year-old man, but traditional medicine focuses on providing the same all-around medical treatment for both. This can result in some severe miscalculations at worst, and at best, the treatment will be less effective for one of them.

Personalized medicine allows doctors to focus on treating the individual, using everything from genetics to genomes to create more effective treatments. Even diagnosis can be better when taking these factors into consideration.

In simple terms, personalized medicine is proactive, whereas traditional medicine is reactive. But how does this affect the future of healthcare?


1. Wearable Devices Will Be Standard

You’ve likely noticed how many health-related wearables there are these days. From wristbands that monitor your vital signs to pumps that provide insulin exactly when needed, they’re everywhere. These wearables collect information that can then be used to fine-tune treatments for individuals. No longer do doctors need to rely on what their patient tells them about their heart palpitations… they can look at the device logs and see exactly what is happening. They can even monitor a patient remotely via wearable devices that connect to the cloud. It would be a mistake not to continue with this.


2. Research Will Focus on Prevention

As previously mentioned, traditional medicine is reactive. When someone falls ill, they are diagnosed and treated, but with the exception of a few things (such as vaccines), preventative measures are largely ignored. However, it’s far more efficient and cost effective to prevent medical issues than to wait for them to occur.

A good example of this is preventing diabetes. Often, someone who is at high risk for diabetes can alleviate their risk and reduce their chances of developing the disease simply by changing the way they eat. An adjustment to their eating habits and incorporating more exercise could save them from a lifetime of suffering. Prevention is key in reducing the potential complications that could crop up.

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3. Age-Related Diseases Will Drop

The vast majority of terminal illnesses are the direct result of aging. Heart failure, cancer, and Alzheimer’s are just a few of the common diseases that come from age. Roughly half of the healthcare budget in the United States is dedicated simply to treating these diseases. But what if you could prevent them long before treatment was necessary? This is where research is focused now… predicting and preventing disease rather than treating it when it shows up.

4. DNA Will Play a Bigger Part in Medical Diagnosis

Even now, people can see what diseases they are more susceptible to via simple DNA tests. There are plenty of options for tests where people simply take their own sample and send it off to the lab. The reports that return give an overview of what they need to watch out for, including whether they are more likely to develop diseases such as cancer and diabetes, or even if they are likely to be allergic to certain foods.

With this genetic information on hand, it’s possible to tailor medical solutions to the person being treated. If you know they are more likely to develop breast cancer, they can be screened more frequently, and any type of treatment that may increase the risk may be avoided. While this is still relatively new, it’s quite likely that DNA and genetic sequencing will become standard in medical care at some point in the future.

5. AI Will Play a Bigger Role in Healthcare

Artificial intelligence has been growing and improving over the past decade or so, and it is now being researched as a way to create better health solutions. Scientists are teaching AI to read MRIs and report the findings.

Interestingly, AI is better than human doctors at diagnosing cancerous tumors long before they’re dangerous. While there are still a few glitches to iron out here, the technology is definitely there and will help people treat patients earlier and faster, as well as more effectively.

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6. Treatment Will Go Digital

Digital medicine is another area that is rapidly growing, in part thanks to the pandemic. More and more people are using apps and technology to treat their health issues. This will only continue to increase as more companies get on board with the using tech to handle certain medical problems.

For example, there are apps that help remind patients to take their medicine and that will even notify a second person if the patient hasn’t taken their meds. Technology has progressed to the point where it is possible for each pill to have a tracker in it that will connect to the app when swallowed, to prove the medication was used correctly. This helps prevent overdoses and dose skipping.

Treating chronic pain with a TENS machine is another way that personalized medicine is working to make medicine more effective for everyone. There are new devices coming out regularly, and that will speed up in the future.

7. Medicine Will Become Tailored to Specific Markers

As scientists learn more about a disease, they are able to devise specific treatments and therapies to target it. One area that is growing rapidly in personalized medicine is cancer treatment. For instance, breast cancer that is HER2 positive can be targeted with medicine designed specifically for that type of cancer and is far more effective than traditional cancer treatments.

More research on genetic markers is being done, but rapid DNA sequencing is also being developed and will soon make it even simpler to treat disease.

There’s no doubt that the medical world is in the midst of a major shift. As technology evolves and scientists discover new methods of classifying people, it becomes easier to shift from treating disease to preventing it. Custom strategies can be developed, and this in turn will reduce the cost and time required for many clinical trials.

With personalized medicine, the healthcare field iis about to experience some big changes that will help people stay healthier in the long run.


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