What is personalized healthcare?
The Personalized Healthcare Initiative at Cleveland Clinic defines personalized healthcare as tailoring medical management and patient care to the individual characteristics of each patient, by incorporating the genetic & genomic make-up of an individual, personal and family medical history, environment, health-related behaviors, culture and values into a compete health picture that can be used to customize care to that particular individual.
What are the benefits to this approach to care?
Personalization of healthcare has the ability to allow healthcare professionals to go beyond the “one size fits all” model of medicine and make the most effective clinical decisions for each patient. This allows for the precise delivery of individualized healthcare.
What role does genetics and genomics play in personalizing patient care?
A patient’s genetic makeup can help clinicians understand the risk for disease – and in some cases, even determine – how a person may respond to certain medications. A patient’s family health history, along with a genetic/genomic profile and environmental factors can indicate increased risk to certain diseases before they begin, allowing the healthcare provider and the patient to create a plan for prevention and surveillance.
How does this approach differ from the current delivery of care?
Personalized Healthcare enables healthcare providers to go beyond the “one size fits all” model of medicine by making the most effective medical decisions for each patient based on the individual’s genetic make-up. This approach goes from reactive to proactive care.
What is pharmacogenomics?
The word derives from the words pharmacology and genomics. Pharmacogenomics is the study of a how a person’s genetic make-up affects the body’s response to drugs.
There are a variety of factors that can influence a person’s response to drug treatments. For example, environment, diet, age, and lifestyle can play a role in a person’s responsiveness to certain therapies. The goal of pharmacogenomics is to create personalized drugs or dosing guidelines with greater efficacy (effectiveness) and safety.
What are the potential benefits of pharmacogenomics?
Pharmaceutical companies will be able to create drugs based on biomarkers targeted to specific diseases, based on a person’s genetic profile.
Doctors will be able to analyze a patient's genetic profile to determine how well the body will process the medication and the time it will take the person to metabolize it and then prescribe the best available drug therapy. This approach to prescribing medications will potentially reduce recovery time and increase patient safety by reducing adverse drug reactions.
Is pharmacogenomics currently being used in patient care?
Yes. Pharmacogenomic strategies are being used in clinical settings in a limited capacity for the treatment of breast and testicular cancer, childhood leukemia and dosing strategies for patients being prescribed Warfarin.
What is a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and how does it impact healthcare reform?
A Patient-Centered Medical Home (also known as Medical Home) is a team-based approach to personalizing patient care, evaluating and treating symptoms and coordinating appointments for patients. The goal is to enable primary care providers to serve as the focal point for the overall patient care plan while working collaboratively with other healthcare providers in an effort to improve access, patient-physician communication and the overall quality of care.
The PCMH model impacts healthcare reform by attempting to more efficiently utilize healthcare dollars by reducing inappropriate self-referrals to specialists based on symptoms rather than information from a comprehensive medical evaluation. This model will place the primary care provider at the center of the patient’s care, build enduring patient-physician relationships and facilitate the use of appropriate medical resources.
What is a genome wide association study (GWAS)?
A genome-wide association study is an approach that involves rapidly scanning markers across the complete sets of DNA, or genomes of many people to find genetic variations associated with a particular disease. Once new genetic associations are identified, researches can use the information to develop better strategies to detect, treat and prevent the disease. Such studies are particularly useful in finding genetic variations that contribute to common, complex diseases, such as asthma, cancer, diabetes heart disease and mental illnesses.