Personalization in Medicine: A Mainstream Approach in the Digital Age

Making medicine more personalized can be somewhat of a challenge in these days of increased demand for EHR software. Developers may feel as though they have a lot to contend with and wonder how this type of approach fits in with the technology they are accustomed to developing. In addition, all apps require developers and users to learn new things.

However, the good news is that people in the healthcare field can use a more traditional approach to accomplish these needs. Many of the same tools that make it easier to personalize the healthcare experience are tools that have already been in use in the industry for years. These mainstream tools are likely to have a less significant learning curve than many newer types of technology.

Making medicine more personal for your practice’s patients is a wise decision. Read on to learn more about the ways you can get started on personalizing your patient’s experiences.

What’s New in the Personalized Medicine World?

Personalized medicine is directing care based on patient genetic makeup, which, according to the University of California San Francisco, increases the chances of doctors being able to treat conditions like diabetes without as much trial-and-error. Doctors who use telemedicine for some of their patient interactions are in an excellent position to incorporate personalized medicine, or precision medicine, as it is sometimes known.

Healthcare providers will need to think about the consequences of accessibility or a lack thereof for their patients. The best personalized care that technology has to offer will do little good if patients lack the health coverage that they need to get regular care. Access to appropriate devices and high-speed Internet or cellular service also make a difference in how well these innovations work for providers and patients.

Mainstream approaches are helpful in this setting because they are more likely to reach at-risk patients who might otherwise miss out on crucial care. Patients are likely to use technology that they have a healthy comfort level with over something that is entirely unfamiliar. The personalized model has the potential to work equally well with existing mainstream and emerging technology.

For patient adoption of newer technologies to succeed, patients will need to be sure that their information is secure and also see that the associated apps are easy to use. Once patients overcome these barriers, they are more likely to make use of the technology available to them. Introducing personalized medicine in ways that patients already have some comfort with will help ensure a smoother transition for all concerned.

All About the Personalized Model for Medicine

According to The Jackson Laboratory, only about half of patients taking medications are seeing results. Modern medicine has traditionally been more reactive than proactive. The personalized model hopes to reverse this trend.

Personalized medicine tailored to patients’ genetic profiles helps decrease the chances of prescribing drugs with side effects likely to result in the patient discontinuing the medication. When patients continually receive the wrong types of drugs, they run the risk of having their care undermined. The costs of care also increase for patients.

A doctor using the predictive model can predict what conditions their patients are likely to develop more easily. Because stopping disease progression is one of the crucial goals for the care of many patients, this model can play a leading role. Customizing the strategies for preventing and treating disease are worthwhile goals to consider when pursuing a more personalized approach.

Although no method will guarantee perfect health, focusing on prevention instead of relying solely on treating problems makes a substantial difference. Practices that can focus on being partners in prevention and treatment with their patients are likely to have better patient retention. Incorporating new technologies alongside some of the more established tools already in use can assist practices in reaching this goal.

Personalizing Care in Telemedicine

Roy Chiang pointed out how the COVID-19 pandemic made the use of digital technology in healthcare more critical than in previous years. The more personalized the level of care, the more effective the use of telemedicine will be for all patients.

Accessibility is one of the benefits telemedicine offers that makes it an effective partner for personalized care. Some of the best candidates for personalized care have conditions that require easy access to a specialist. Patients who require more visits during the year will benefit from the convenience of combining their personalized care with telemedicine visits.

One of the advantages that telemedicine offers is greater ease in getting second opinions, which many patients seek when receiving a difficult diagnosis. Patients who feel as though their current physician is failing to meet their standards may feel more comfortable seeking second opinions when the new doctor is easily accessible. Response times are often faster with telemedicine in comparison to scheduling an in-person appointment.

The decreased costs and increased efficiency made possible with telemedicine also make this option an essential element in personalized medicine. Practices can always benefit from finding ways to save and use money more effectively. When patients encounter fewer costs using a provider, they are more likely to continue seeing the provider.

What Does Personalized Medicine’s Future Look Like?

Hannah Simmons emphasizes the importance of personalized medicine in healthcare and goes further by emphasizing that she believes personalized medicine is the future, not just a part of it.

Doctors using personalized medicine can look beyond the symptoms and see how genetic issues may influence the patient’s health. In the case of certain types of cancer, for example, this approach can determine the prognosis. Professionals find it easier to prescribe drugs less likely to cause the most severe side effects.

Personalized medicine, in addition to planning a course of treatment, can also incorporate discussions about lifestyle changes. Certain health conditions like diabetes and heart disease, where lifestyle changes are helpful, are ideal for treatment with personalized medicine. Patients may have a higher likelihood of compliance when doctors include lifestyle changes along with medical treatments.

Although there are a few drawbacks to personalized medicine that relies on technology, the possible benefits outweigh the downsides for most people. Many patients want better treatment options, and their doctors want better outcomes. Pursuing easier access to personalized medicine will help meet both of these goals.

Concluding Thoughts

Although personalized medicine may seem as though it requires a lot of effort, mainstream technology is easy to couple with it for maximum results. Many providers have realized this way of practicing medicine is effective for providing better outcomes. Using personalized medicine along with telemedicine is one of the best ways to make sure that patients and their healthcare providers benefit from these technological innovations.

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