We are all aware of how technology in the form of healthcare data analytics has been powering care and treatment accuracy for quite some time now. Personalized medication is a term that has been reverberating in the healthcare sector all along. Well, things just got a little better. While personalized medicine is good and invaluable, the bar has been set a bit higher. Precision medicine is now the talk of the healthcare town. Right at the outset one might ask what the difference is. In simple terms, the biggest difference is that precision medicine is a bit more personalized than personalized medicine. Let’s see how.
The difference between Personalized and Precision medicine
Precision medicine has the potential to transform healthcare like never before, as it takes into account the various elements that personalized medicine does not, like ethnicity, environment exposure, past immunizations, etc. Personalized medicine adopts a one-size-fits-all approach which is more population-based in nature. It’s an approach where the treatment is provided according to protocols based on cohorts of patients. Basically, precision medicine picks up from where personalized medicine leaves.
Let’s us look at an example that clearly strikes out the difference between the two. Personalized medicine approach would treat a man suffering from diabetes in the same way it would treat any 50-year-old man suffering from Diabetes. Care and treatment would be provided on the basis of protocols and conclusions that is generically applicable for such a case. So, the care is basically personalized till a level. What this approach does not take into consideration are the ultra-personalized things like physical disabilities, local environment, cormobidities, etc. of the person. Besides past medical records, precision medicine uses genomic information to analyse and determine the best treatment for an individual. A human genome comprises of an individual’s complete set of DNA including all the genes. Precision medicine offers treatment that is much more curated and personalized than personalized medicine.
The Role of Healthcare Data Analytics
Data as we know is available in bulk today. What’s important is to make proper use of the data to leverage the most efficient treatment in the most cost-effective way. For clinicians to provide precision medicine leveraging genomes and exposomes and facilitating the best outcomes, advanced machine learning technologies are required. Clinician and care providers though, require to collect data that are more robust than the ones collected in the electronic health records.
It’s very important to make meaning out of the vast data that’s available for use. Healthcare data analytics converts this huge amount of available data and converts them into highly actionable insights that can be easily acted upon. This allows the care providers to deliver diagnostic and treatment that is more deterministic, personalized, and curated. The role of healthcare data analytics has been huge till now, and nothing is scheduled for change in the near future. Definitely not with regards to Precision Medicine deployment.