Medication as you know it right now is all about establishing the diagnosis and offering the best possible solution. This applies to everyone irrespective of age, gender, the cause of the condition, and several other factors.
But when you look at it keenly, medication should not be a blanket solution. Various patients have different immunity and would react differently to medication. The same way people have different needs, so should this apply to medical practice.
That is where personalized medicine comes in.
What is personalized medicine?
For you to understand everything about personalized medicine, you first have to know what it is all about. Personalized medicine is the use of patient-specific conditions like genetics, causative environment, and personality to come up with health care customized to the individual needs.
Given the difference in people’s genetic makeup and living environments, you cannot expect the same results when you use a one-fits-all medical solution. Instead, the personalized medicine establishes the patient’s predisposition to illness and the various risk factors when administering treatment. The family history and reaction to medicine also factor in personalized medicine.
Once the medication is established, the caregiver follows up the whole process until recovery. They might use patient advocate service to ensure proper medication.
What are the benefits of personalized medicine?
Personalized medication has become popular among patients due to the various benefits like;
- Help patients make informed decisions – involving a patient throughout the treatment process helps one establish their body then come up with what works best for them. It ensures appropriate medication, exercise, and treatment plans.
- Increased patient engagement – it is not all the time when a patient will feel right with the medication they get. This can be due to prolonged symptoms or side effects. They can even start doubting the medication. However, with the personalized medication, the patient is part of the whole process. They understand all medications are tailor-made for their condition and are likely to work.
- Emphasis on preventive medication, not reactive – the current medication is all about treating symptoms once a condition occurs. However, with the personalized medication the focus shifts to prevention through education and direct intervention based on one’s individual condition. This comes with better quality of life and less expenditure on medication.
- Reduced cost of medication for patients – Generally, personalized medicine is less expensive compared to generic medication. The patient does not have to spend money on trial and error procedures. Instead, the focus is on what works best within the shortest time possible.
What are the concerns with personalized medicine?
Even though personalized medicine has various benefits, it also comes with various drawbacks. The first of the issues is the ethical concerns and privacy. For example, some insurance companies might use patient health information to avoid offering coverage.
The other concern is how much people are willing to learn about themselves. For example, some people might react badly following a discovery of a terminal issue. They can even develop mental health issues.
As the personalized medicine field grows, these concerns will be dealt with. That is to say, from all indications, personalized medicine is the future of healthcare.