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Reality of Personalized Medicine

Complexity

Personalized medicine requires a database of genetic information from patients afflicted with various diseases; this database is then referenced to treat patients suffering from similar diseases with a similar genetic makeup.

Evidence

Diseases are like fingerprints; they affect each individual differently and require specialized treatment. Gathering data about illnesses and how they affect various genes can give physicians insight on how to best treat patients with genes similar to past patients. Personalized medicine takes the guesswork out of medicine.

Finances and Waste

Delving into the DNA and discovering which medication or treatment will be most beneficial to the patient allows them to avoid expensive alternatives. They bypass having to shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars for multiple medications or treatments that might not prove helpful. Time is saved, and the patient’s life is extended by quickly and effectively treating them.

Standardization

A problem that personalized medicine faces is the lack of standardization in genetic testing. There isn’t a definitive method in which patients are tested, so results cannot be given a side-by-side comparison. Without a conclusive result, patients are left mystified.

Unity and Sharing

As a non-profit organization, MED-C plans to bring about unity in the health community through the sharing and collaborating of aggregated data. Rather than holding back data for the sake of the dollar,“Data shall not be held hostage, data shall be accessed, data will be available to everyone, data will be very low cost access or no cost for academic research.”

Education and Leadership

Currently various parties are vying for leadership in the field of personalized medicine, but the race is slow-going and lacks initiative. “There’s not a combined leadership, or a combined organization that is working together on solving this problem right now.” The only way for personalized medicine to thrive is if there is unity in the medical field and an acceptance of genetic information collaboration.

HIPAA Laws? How does that work?

HIPAA Laws mandate protection to “individuals’ medical records and other personal health information and applies to health plan, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically.” (http://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/privacy/). MED-C applies all industry standards dictated by HIPAA to the database and the information collected. The security and safety of the patients and the private information collected is of highest priority for MED-C.