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Personalized Medicine

What is personalized medicine?

Personalized medicine is individualized advice and treatment that enables one person to achieve his or her optimal function. In addition to focusing on a person’s current health and combating disease, personalized medicine also builds a health trajectory to predict and prevent future ailments and dysfunctions.

Why personalized medicine?

Despite sharing a lot in common, each person is different. We all have unique DNA and genetic make-up that influences our characteristics and our interaction with the environment around us. Prior to the human genome project, common medical advice and therapies were largely driven by data from clinical trials done on large populations. While data-driven medical practice from good quality clinical trials is still the standard in most cases, personalized medicine goes one step above and beyond, without contradicting standard medical practice, by providing a customized plan for one person at a time. Personalized medicine that is individually designed for one person to achieve their optimal health better than standard medicine is similar to custom-fitting clothing that is tailored for one person to look better than off-the-rack clothing.

The following individualized components can help you create your personalized care plan:

1. Your personal medical and family history

2. Your genomics

3. Your diet history and nutritional status

4. Your current health, including symptoms and signs

5. Your habits, daily routine, and work

6. Your goals

These personal components help you shape your plan in such a way that allows you to be in charge of your health and lets your physician play the role of your consultant.

Is personalized medicine expensive?

All your medical visits should be covered by your insurance. Based upon your decisions about your health and your goals, you may decide to spend more on additional supplements and/or treatments recommended by your health care team to achieve an optimal level of health.

The real question is not if personalized medicine is right for you? Instead the 21st century questions is, why everyone should not get care based based upon principles of personalized medicine?

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To make personalized medicine work for you:

1. Schedule a medical visit

2. Share all your health concerns, and set goals during your medical visit

3 points to remember about this article

1. Despite sharing a lot of characteristics, each one of us is unique

2. One size fit all health care is not the highest quality of care

3. Personalized medicine should be affordable for most people