So what’s the future of medicine? If anyone can answer this question, Dr. Michael Nova, Chief Innovation Officer of Pathway Genomics can. Dr. Nova’s innovations span from creating health and wellness genetic tests to developing an upcoming consumer mobile app, OME ™, which uses genetics, artificial intelligence, (powered by IBM Watson) and other data to help manage health and wellness. As a pioneer in the future of medicine, Dr. Nova notes six key areas that will advance medicine in the next ten years.
1. Genetics and epigenetics for personalized wellness.
We will all be using genetics and epigenetics to dial in the correct diets to prevent weight gain, and to mitigate cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other serous health issues. The understanding of the disease risk markers, for both genetics and epigenetics, will be more precise, and lead to greater personalized treatment options for many conditions. Prevention strategies will also be more relevant, as continued research will uncover how genes most responsible for a certain disease states can be, “turned on or off. “
2. No more “one size fits all” approach.
One-size-fits-all medicine for drug prescriptions, prevention, chemotherapy, etc. will be a thing of the past. Gone will be the days of doctors prescribing cookie cutter dosages of commonly prescribed drugs. Phenotypic factors like ethnicity, metabolism, and gender, coupled with genetic and other lab data, processed by artificial intelligence will be factored into prescribing the right drug for the right patient at the right time.
3. Technology— apps and smart devices will be smarter.
According to Dr. Nova, “Ubiquitous and unobtrusive wireless applications (like OME ™) will monitor and dynamically manage your personalized healthcare–without you even knowing about it!” Massive amounts of data are collected and saved; spanning many platforms like medical records, crowd sourcing and even tracking devices. Given the right parameters, artificial intelligence can make sense of these types of datasets and bring to light relevant information useful in diagnostics and proactive health and lifestyle choices. Data security will also be top-of-mind, in order to comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA.).
Ubiquitous and unobtrusive wireless applications (like OME ™) will monitor and dynamically manage your personalized healthcare–without you even knowing about it!
– Michael Nova, MD, Chief Innovation Officer at Pathway Genomics
4. Democratization of Medicine—access for all.
As a result of many technological advances applied to the field of medicine, everybody will have access to the best possible healthcare and outcomes–no matter where they are. For example, mobile stroke units, specialized ambulances that treat stroke patients with immediacy, will work in conjunction with telemedicine. They have the ability to save more lives because of quick response, onboard CT scanner, and specially trained teams. Currently, only 15% of stroke victims receive care within the three-hour window that allows for life-saving medical interventions.
5. Artificial Intelligence (AI) helps humans.
AI will play a huge part in helping to personalize the correct medical treatment, or to prevent medical issues from happening in the first place. AI applies multiple data variables of “omics,” (genomics, proteomics, metabolomics) to the transformation of global health. For example, IBM Watson can take unstructured data (tons of data) and study it—at the rate of 40 million documents in 15 seconds. Among many other things, Watson can help physicians provide personalized care with better diagnostics. Now that’s deep!
6. People are living longer.
There are many reasons why lifespans are increasing. Biomedicine is key in this growth, as well as drug pipelines, a convergence of technologies, advances in genetics screenings, and overall health consciousness. Economies and healthcare systems will need swift and massive reform to deal with the next few decades of aging people.
The convergence of technologies has created a revolution in many areas our lives and its effect on modern healthcare is exponential. Imagine a world where a surgical procedure involves the printing and use of 3D printing of bones and tissues, or robotic medical devices that allow mobility for those who can no longer stand or walk. Make a visit with a doctor with just your cell phone and no appointment. Medicine and supplies delivered by drones to those in remote places. These technologies are available now, and the next decade will make the future now with these ways of delivering high-tech healthcare to everyone.