Premier Heart and Vein Care has recently added “precision medicine” to the practice for patients from around the Central Coast. While you could assume “precision” is a part of all medical care, that’s not really true. Most medical care in the U.S. currently follows treatment based on the “average” person. Of course, reality is that none of us is average; we all have variations in our bodies and our individual health.
That’s why precision medicine is a new way of thinking in medicine.
In this blog, let’s get into precision medicine with Dr. Stevens at Premier Heart and Vein Care.
What is precision medicine?
Precision medicine is a medical model that proposes the customization of healthcare, where medical decisions, treatments, practices, and products are tailored to the individual patient, instead of what has been a one-size-fits-all approach. In precision medicine, diagnostic testing is often employed for selecting appropriate and optimal therapies based on the context of a patient’s genetic content or other molecular cellular analysis. Tools used in precision medicine can include molecular diagnostics, imaging, pharmacogenetics, and analytics.
Precision medicine takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person. This approach lets treatment and prevention strategies be applied differently to different groups, based on the inherent differences in those groups.
You could call much of modern medicine in the U.S. as reactionary. Patients are treated, for the most part, when they are already sick, so treatment needs to react to the illness or disease. Precision medicine aims to be more proactive and preventive in its approach. Here are some tenets of this new approach to medicine with Dr. Stevens:
- Methods for identifying those who are at risk before disease strikes
- Analytical tools for predicting which prevention strategies will work best for which patients
- Screening methods for identifying subtypes of disease that may look the same on the surface but respond very differently to treatment
- Tests that can identify disease carrier status for prospective parents
- Devices for managing diseases and for tracking and guiding recovery
- Pharmacogenomics, a component of precision medicine, aims to predict how individual genetic variability impacts drug absorption, metabolism, and activity
Precision medicine is an exciting new approach to patient care focusing on individuals instead of the overall population. Dr. Stevens is happy to add this growing area of specialization to Premier Heart and Vein Care. If you have questions about precision medicine, or you’d like to schedule an appointment, please give us a call at (805) 540-3333.