Physicians have always relied on innovation to provide the best care possible. One of the latest innovations in health care is what is being referred to as “precision medicine”. What exactly is precision medicine and how can it improve the efficacy of health care in the near future?
What is Precision Medicine?
The basis of good healthcare is personalization, something that every doctor has tried to do their best to achieve. Personalization is now more possible than ever before, thanks to the advancement of genetics. It is not just genetics, however, but the entire synthesis of genetics, environmental factors, and lifestyle. Doctors then utilize this combination to tailor a healthcare plan that will be most effective for each individual patient.
According to this explanation, the concept of precision medicine is new, but the strategy has actually been around for some time. For example, the topic of blood transfusions and the need for correct blood type matching is not only helpful, but absolutely necessary to reduce problems with the patient recipient. A mismatch can be lethal, so practicing individualized medicine is already a requirement in the world of healthcare.
The Current Scope
One notable example of the use of precision medicine is in a practice known as pharmacogenomics, which in simple terms is the study of how a person’s genes affect the interaction of their body with certain drugs. This allows the activity of pharmacology, which is the science of drugs, to be used more precisely. Pharmacogenetics helps scientists to develop safer drugs for certain gene variations.
The larger scope of precision medicine’s implementation is currently limited. The precision medicine initiative is hoping to expand the use of this medical methodology in the coming years with a list of benefits being constantly expanded. Just what exactly are those benefits to patients and doctors? Let’s examine that.
What Exactly Can Pharmacogenetics Do For Doctors?
One of the key factors of a drug’s effectiveness is how long it remains in an active state in the body. The length of this activity needs to be a certain span of time in order for the drug to do its job properly. Every person metabolizes drugs differently, and this is where pharmacogenetics can help doctors. Pharmacogenetics examines the genes responsible for how each person’s body metabolizes a drug, and thus, how effective it is for them individually. A doctor may decide to change the dose taken by the patient or change to a different drug entirely. This is one of the keyways in which precision medicine can impact the efficacy of doctors’ treatment plans.
The Benefits of the Precision Medicine Initiative
The precision medicine initiative has both short- and long-term examples of how the usage of these new practices can improve the efficacy of medicine. Some of the more upfront benefits are the improvement of FDA oversight into the development and testing of new drugs. One of these ways being the adoption of the principles of pharmacogenomics to better augment drugs to be safely administered for various gene types.
In the long term, the initiative hopes to see a new standard for using extensive genetic and environmental information to develop personalized healthcare practices for individuals. They also hope that we can come to see an improvement in the diagnosis and treatment of complex diseases in the future through our better understanding of genetics and the environment.
To sum this all up, precision medicine is the act of using a combination of one’s genetics, environment, and lifestyle choices to tailor a healthcare plan that’s more effective for their individual well-being. The precision medicine initiative is hoping to expand the scope and usage of this new medical methodology for greater benefits to the world of medicine.
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