When Technology and Big Pharma Meet
We all know it’s essential to take care of our health — but beyond good eating habits and enough exercise, there are tons of other things that affect our wellbeing. And we don’t even know about most of those factors.
Enter: precision medicine
Precision health technology is becoming more and more advanced — and it’s slowly entering the mainstream. As it improves, it will become increasingly more critical in the fight to protect your health by showcasing and measuring the entire host of health-affecting factors and helping healthcare providers act on them.
Of course, even if you’ve heard about “precision health” and “precision medicine” before, you might not know how it relates to you directly. These data-driven medical technologies help doctors recognize your unique and specific disease risks — along with the custom-tailored treatments that will work best for you. The intersection of Big Pharma and advanced technology has enabled precision medicine to help physicians across the board — improving prediction, prevention, treatment, and management.
Prediction and Prevention
More accessible data management allows doctors to go through your family’s medical history more precisely — giving them information on which diseases and health risks you’re more likely to have.
Also, personal devices are becoming increasingly valuable for keeping track of your detailed health data. Smart devices contain mobile health applications that can easily track blood pressure, physical activity, and even nutrition. In turn, real-time measurements can alert you to health changes that might require medical care.
Public health workers are also finding social media a helpful tool in communicating health information and tracking disease. That’s why public health researchers are exploring the use of social media in monitoring and containing disease outbreaks. Advanced technologies like genome sequencing are also helpful in finding, controlling, and tracking infectious diseases.
Treatment and Management
These precision medicine technologies aren’t just valuable for recognizing and preventing diseases — they’re also proving increasingly useful in treating and managing them. In the future, pharmacogenomics will become advanced enough that all doctors will be able to prescribe you the drug and dosage that’s the likeliest to work for you.
And bear in mind that the way we respond to drugs depends on a wide variety of factors — including our DNA. That’s why some people reap all the intended benefits of a drug, while others have serious side effects. Pharmacogenomics is able to predict the ways our DNA will affect our response to specific medications, helping doctors prescribe the proper drugs and doses that are the likeliest to be both effective and safe.
While there are still a lot of advancements to be made in precision medicine, two things are certain: it’s already here, and it’s already useful.