• Angel Alfaro | MD

What is Personalized Medicine?


The P4Medicine Institute aims to "quantify wellness and demystify disease." This is similar to my mission which is to make healthcare understandable to those who need it and create a movement where the patient experience is personal, meets both the patient and doctor's needs and is practical. Below are the 4 PS:

Predictive As we move from just diagnosing illness to predicting what our genes, behaviors and environment does to our overall make up, we will rely more and more on testing our genes. Our genes however, play only a small role in what determines our health. There are so many other markers including those that instruct our genes in what to do. A systems approach that is based on a network of genes, proteins and instructions will help us to predict not only the possible illnesses we may be predisposed to but also how to keep us well.

Preventive Once we can predict wellness and illness we will be able to design preventive drugs and measures that will provide important insight to our conditions. Stem cell therapy is helping many treat some early conditions to prevent chronic disease. Again a systems approach is needed as well as individual accountability to turn the tide of chronic disease.

Personalized Each of us is genetically unique, not just an average, therefore we can serve as our own controls to know if a therapy is working or not. Randomized controlled trials are great places to start, but they do not address all population types. New approaches are needed to provide care to the individual with the science in mind but also with the mindset of how the therapy affects us a single person.

Participatory We must all become engaged in our health. Life is not a spectator sport and we only get one game to play. Each individual patient must learn about health, wellness and illness whiles physicians must teach, guide and mentor, not merely advise a particular course of therapy. We learn from each other and our networks are vast, so we must reach out to gain as much knowledge as possible, while tailoring that to our individual condition.

We are in the drivers seat of our own care. This is a fabulous time in medicine as the consumer is able to demand services that fit their needs. Never has there been a time where there is more information available. The trouble now is how to interpret health information. Who will translate the complexities of care? How will all the information be compiled and interpreted? How do you take back your health and not merely be a number? Predict, Prevent, Personalize and Participate.....that is how.

#P4M

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