Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Personalized Healthcare Needs to Get Personal

by Greg Simon, President, FasterCures

A personalized approach to healthcare starts with patients being involved in medical research. We are all walking medical record repositories for ourselves and our loved ones. And yet, patients are still the healthcare system’s largest untapped resource.

Embedded within each patient is the information – medical records, biological material such as tissue, blood, and DNA, and our biology as observed in clinical trials – that is crucial to understanding and managing disease. The ability to effectively preempt, accurately diagnose, and successfully treat disease relies on a patient’s willingness to provide personal genetic and medical information and to become an involved participant throughout the medical research continuum.

Each of us has experienced how patients are not at the center of healthcare. It's no surprise why patients are not chomping at the bit to participate in research – information about clinical trials is scarce and confusing, there are few incentives in exchange for your effort and time, and healthcare providers rarely provide you with the guidance and the care you need and deserve to navigate through a complex process.

Everything has to change to put patients at the center. To make personalized medicine a reality for all, we need to transform our current healthcure and healthcare systems from the outdated model of the last century to an integrated, information-based, high-quality, health-sustaining model. We need a healthcure system that engages patients from the very beginning of the research process instead of turning to patients as an afterthought. We need a healthcare system that will improve treatment options for patients, prevent the onset of disease in the first place, and improve the quality of life for generations to come.

When it comes to your health -- take it personally.
For more information, download a copy of the just released FasterCures white paper "Patients' and Consumers' Interests and Perspectives in Personalized
Healthcare."
This paper looks into the cutting-edge
possibilities of personalized healthcare and the need for patient involvement
and provides a glimpse into how "personal" personalized healthcare is and what
consumers think about the advent of this era. FasterCures was
commissioned to develop this paper by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for
Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as
part of Secretary Michael O. Leavitt’s Initiative on Personalized Health
Care.
Related Blogs:
11.18.08
Science Progress Blog:
The Revolution Will Be Personalized
A Cautious HHS Report on the Latest Buzz In Medicine

2 comments:

Isabella said...

Yes, you should take your health personally! You've only got one body, treat it well! A great quality of life is worth more than you can ever imagine!

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Anonymous said...

I agree with you 100%. We need to be more educated consumers of healthcare system. Either the physician has to enlighten us or we need to take initiative to find the information on our own. Well..doctors don't have time. So--we need more doctors. For that more medical schools should be providing education at an affordable cost, so that doctors are not hard pressed to earn millions just to pay off their loans and survive(and I am not even a doctor!) But I know that doctors need to spend more time with each patient to "educate" him/her and we need more doctors for that who are willing to do so before marking you off the chart to run to the next patient.

And as far as "We need a healthcare system that will improve treatment options for patients, prevent the onset of disease in the first place, and improve the quality of life for generations to come." is concerned, well how would the pharmaceutical companies survive if everyone was healthy and well?!