Patient in the focus

Patient in the focus

Current healthcare practices essentially rely on emergence of signs and symptoms of human pathologies prior to initiation of interventional modalities. A major limitation of this approach relates to the fact that often the disease process has already taken its toll through manifestation of its complications (e.g. diabetes-associated renal and cardiovascular complications). As a result, despite high costs associated with care of these individuals, long-term prognosis usually remains poor due to inadequate control of disease manifestations, treatment failure, disease-recurrence and the appearance of severe secondary complications, among others, thereby contributing to relatively low life-quality of the treated persons, high morbidity and mortality.  

The major premise of the improved strategies is that initially, chronic pathologies are generally triggered at the molecular level followed by pathology-specific molecular events predisposing the potentially affected organs to certain pathologies long before organ damage and symptomatic manifestation of the disease. Therefore, detection of pathology-specific molecular patterns can create a well-founded basis for the predictive approaches desirable in good healthcare. It advocates the application of innovative biotechnologies to predict human pathologies, devise appropriate and timely preventive strategies and individualized treatment planning. As a result, predictive medicine offers great promise for the future practice of medicine.

Essential components of this approach include

  • well-organised population screening protocols using novel diagnostic biomarkers of disease states,
  • targeted prevention of common human pathologies,
  • optimal treatment planning and
  • personalised medicine thereby resulting in substantial improvement of the quality of life.

This approach also offers the advantage of delivering care at potentially reduced costs to the population at large thereby addressing social and ethical issues related to access to and affordability of healthcare (V. Costigliola, P. Gahan and O. Golubnitschaja "Predictive Medicine as the new philosophy in health care" as published in the book "Predictive Diagnostics & Personalized Treatment: Dream or Reality?", Editor: O. Golubnitschaja, Nova Science Publishers, New York, USA, 2009; see website.)