People are different and so are diseases
Personalised Healthcare (PHC) is based on the observation that patients with the same diagnosis react to the same treatment in different ways: while a drug can be highly effective for one patient, the same drug might not show the desired results when given to a second patient with the same diagnosis. Disease-related as well as disease-independent individual characteristics influence the way drugs work, and treating all patients diagnosed with a certain disease with a broad-brush approach disregards those differences.
Patients are different
In other words, conventionally practiced healthcare is not as effective as it could be, with a considerable number of patients receiving treatment that is inappropriate for them, treatment that might even cause adverse reactions in some cases. Personalised Healthcare thus has the potential to increase the efficacy and safety of treatment. It is an approach which capitalizes on our increasingly sophisticated understanding of differences among patients, the molecular basis of disease and of how medicines work.
This is Personalised Healthcare – Fitting the treatments to the patients.
PHC: Fitting the treatments to the patients
Personalised Healthcare means targeting treatment to specific groups of patients who will respond best to those medicines. Rather than a ‘one-size-fits all’ model, it is a tailored approach that incorporates the reality that people are different and so are the diseases that affect them.
PHC does not mean a specific medicine for every individual patient. It does mean that treatment will increasingly be tailored to specific patient sub-groups who share similarities, either in their genetic make-up or in the molecular nature of their disease.
This has a enormous potential to make healthcare better, safer and more effective for patients, physicians, payers, and society at large.