Personalized and predictive medicine is an innovative area of medical science that consists of a combination of both prevention and detection. Predictive medicine is a discipline of medicine that includes the study of individual risk factors for disease (such as a predisposition for certain diseases) and different institutions and institutes predictive measures to either delay the onset of a disease or reduce its effects on the patient (for instance by reducing morbidity or preventing mortality). This type of medicine has been used for a long time, and there are now two main areas of personalized medicine, prevention and diagnosis. The idea behind personalized medicine is that the results of diagnostic tests can provide information regarding the severity and course of the disease and can thus be used to make a more informed decision about treatment.
The practice of personalized medicine has its roots in several fields, but its most popular application has been the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. A doctor will use information about the disease as well as the patient’s history and present health to determine a diagnosis. The aim of personalizing medicine is to give a patient more control over their health and to allow them to decide when, if and how best to treat their illness.
The personalized nature of the personalization process can take many forms. One of these is the use of risk factors in the diagnosis process. Risk factors include lifestyle choices, environmental factors, genetic factors, and other factors that affect the probability of a particular disease. Once risk factors are identified, the doctor will take the appropriate steps to mitigate those factors, hopefully lowering the odds of developing the illness in the first place. The most common example of personalization is in the way of reducing certain lifestyle choices and environmental factors, which can be quite difficult to change. Many people will have to deal with the environmental factors involved in their family history, such as smoking, drinking, and exposure to toxins.
Personalized and predictive medicine can also be used for the purpose of diagnosis. Certain tests can be conducted to determine specific conditions (such as cholesterol level changes) or risk factors, allowing doctors to create a treatment plan based on what is known at this point. Sometimes, patients who have symptoms of a specific condition will be evaluated before a diagnosis is given to determine whether the symptoms represent that condition or just part of it.
Predictive medicine also deals with the diagnosis of diseases. Although the methods may be somewhat different, the goal of personalization is to improve a doctor’s ability to diagnose a disease by identifying or eliminating certain risk factors and patterns of illness.
For example, if you’ve been diagnosed with a high cholesterol disease, but you’ve been on a low-fat, low-salt diet and exercise regime, your doctor may not be able to identify the condition until you start eating less cholesterol-lowering foods. In the past, doctors would have been forced to guess at the cause of your illness and come up with a treatment plan based on the data they gathered from you.