15 Dec A4M: Finding Purpose In The Future of Medicine
Mary Caire MD shares her path to precision medicine and finding her purpose in life. Read the full article, “Finding Purpose in the Future of Medicine,” from the winter 2015 issue of A4M Anti-Aging Medical News.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
I practice precision medicine and embrace the role of DNA in my integrative practice.
Precision medicine elevates integrative, holistic care by enabling a higher-level of patient knowledge. In addition to a patient’s lifestyle, diet, health history, biomarkers, microbiome composition and metabolomics, we can now understand their unique genetics and genetic predispositions. We can pinpoint risks for specific diseases and help patients make choices that prevent the diseases from ever manifesting.
With integrative medicine’s focused approach for doctors and DNA’s power to motivate and inspire patients, we are poised to have more control over our health (our lives) than ever before.
As I immerse myself in the latest DNA research, I marvel at advancements that are revolutionizing health care today:
- Individualized Medicine or Precision Medicine: We are moving from prescribing a one-size-fits-all pill for a particular disease or disorder to creating individualized health programs based on a person’s unique nutritional needs, genetics, and biochemistry.
- Personalized Longevity Plans: The child probably has already been born who will live to be more than 150 years old. Therefore, we need to switch our thinking from how to stop disease and refocus on how to maintain health so that people over 100 can live active, productive lives and contribute to our society’s success.
- Big Data and Predictive Analytics: Matching a particular therapeutic plan to a specific genomic profile is a big data problem. Massive data storage and processing power is required to analyze data on therapeutic interactions with different genetic combinations. For example, just focusing on 20 genes is a calculation with 4.3 x 10^67 possible combinations. Large, open big-data platforms can do what humans cannot do – analyze that data and take it to the next level by predicting outcomes and doing it almost instantaneously.
As doctors and medical professionals who embrace integrative medicine, we must blaze the trails for this amazing medical future.
I have already begun to reach out to genetic testing companies, big data companies, educational institutions, and policy makers to create partnerships and learning opportunities. My vision is to find the right combination of partners to create the healthy future I know we can for our patients and our families.