I personally feel that a lot of what I do is a different ideological propaganda from reality. It is a never ending task because humans have the tendency to view the world through narratives. We not only create narratives but communicate with each other through narratives. So deep in this tendency to view the world thematically rather than empirically, we encounter science based highly technical areas like medicine. In the past few years I have been encountering the term “Precision medicine” quite often. The need for precision medicine comes from the realization that every human genome is unique.
Precision Medicine is an emerging medical approach for disease treatment and prevention and takes into account the variability in environment, genes, and lifestyle of each person. This approach allows the doctors and researchers to predict the right kind of treatment and prevention strategies for a particular disease for each specific group of people with more accuracy.
Every day, millions of people are taking medications which do not help them. It is estimated that the Top 10 highest grossing drugs in United States are only 4%-25% efficient. Particularly drugs continuously used to reduce cholesterol such as statins have a much less precision rate of 1 in 50. Chronic diseases are becoming dominant throughout the world and new treatments which are increasingly specialized tend to be costly.
Consequently, the era of precision medicine is paving its way by improving outcomes while decreasing the costs. Potential benefits of Precision Medicine include better understanding of underlying conditions, mechanisms through which they occur and improving approaches for preventing, diagnosing and treatment of various diseases.
The United States Govt. launched a New Precision Medicine Initiative on January 2015 with a vision to extend precision medicine for all diseases by building a national research cohort of more than one million US citizens. They called for $215 million to support the initiative in 2016. Of this $ 215 million, $ 130 million is allocated to NIH for building the national cohort and $70 million to National Cancer Institute for continue their efforts in cancer genomics. President Obama, of whom this initiative is the brainchild quoted
“I want the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to lead a new era of medicine…
One that delivers the right treatment at right time”
France plans to invest 670 million euros in the country`s genomics and precision medicine sector through its mission “France Genomic mission 2025”. The investment aims at improving the diagnosis and prevention of disease across the country by establishing 12 sequencing platforms throughout the country and two national centers that will handle the data and maintain an update on each platform. The mission concentrates on cancer, diabetes and rare diseases in the initial stages, after 2020 the plan will be opened to common diseases.
On the other side of the world, Beijing based company Hangzhou Cognitive Care, plans to install IBM`s artificial Intelligence Platform “Watson for Oncology” at twenty-one hospitals throughout China in both rural and urban facilities. These systems are designed to help better informed treatment decision by analyzing patient information against a database drawn from 300 medical journals and nearly 15 million pages of text. The Partners also plan to expand the cohort to include new facilities to reach out to China`s 1.4 billion population.
In an enterprise wide effort, Metabolon has secured 15 million dollars funding from Essex Woodlands to move forward with its Precision Medicine Goals. It develops Metabolomics, an emerging technology for precision medicine which has set the stage for new ways to monitor, diagnose and provide treatment guidance.
Until recently, only a few clinicians and researchers were exploring the developing science of precision medicine but the recent trends in the precision medicine clearly show that it is coming into the spotlight across various geographies is a promising breakthrough in the healthcare.
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