February 23, 2024

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Personalized Medicine and Precision Health at UF Health

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Personalized medicine is the future of healthcare. It can identify potential risk for diseases based on your unique genetic profile and guide treatment accordingly.

Our department is working towards improving precision health through partnerships with historically black medical schools, to increase minority representation in genomics research and ultimately expand the number of people who will benefit.

Preventive Medicine

Predictive patient information derived from their unique traits allows doctors to effectively use predictive patient care information in helping prevent disease onset or mitigate symptoms for those living with chronic conditions. This approach is known as precision prevention; while wider precision health includes approaches that take place outside the doctor’s office – for example public health initiatives which fall under “precision public health.”

Understanding an individual’s genetic profile can assist doctors in choosing appropriate cancer therapies or clinical trials that test new medicines. Furthermore, testing for cancer genes inherited by family members can enable them to take steps that reduce their risk.

As genomics progresses, however, personalized medicine’s paternalist focus, precision prevention’s essentialism and wellness genomics’ perfectionism could have significant ramifications on how these technologies are utilized – leading to new waves of eugenics that society may come to regret in future.

Screening

Researchers at UF Health are dedicated not only to curing but also preventing diseases. This includes identifying genetic variations that might influence how individuals respond to certain medications and using this data as part of prescribing practices.

The Food and Drug Administration has begun revising drug labels to provide information regarding whether patients may possess gene variants that alter how well a medication works or increase its risks of side effects – an example of personalized medicine.

More generally, precision health encompasses more than individualized treatment; rather, its goal is improving quality of life for everyone worldwide. Curated care includes personal genomics testing, personalized nutrition plans and other factors as part of this trend. While not always practical or affordable, precision healthcare could rewrite what constitutes medical care in future. Precision health’s aim goes far beyond individualization of treatment: its focus is improving global quality of life for all.

Diagnosis

Personalised medicine involves tailoring healthcare to each individual patient’s specific needs. At UF Health, this means using technology and innovation to provide more accurate diagnoses, develop targeted therapies and create more effective treatment plans.

Physicians typically rely on trial and error approaches when finding medications suitable for their patients, but thanks to advances in pharmacogenomics and genetic tests that predict how a body responds to medications, physicians are now able to match each patient with the right drug in terms of dosage for optimal effectiveness, thus minimizing side effects or developing drug resistance.

But for curated care to be sustainable as an overall change in healthcare systems, genomic complexities must be balanced with access and ethics considerations. This scoping review covers peer-reviewed and grey literature academic articles discussing precision health as a means of realizing this vision – for example JAMA Insights on Genomics and Precision Health is one such publication which discusses this subject matter extensively.

Treatment

As opposed to “one size fits all” approaches for treating diseases, personalized medicine assumes that every individual possesses distinct molecular, physiological, environmental exposure and behavioral characteristics which require tailored interventions to treat diseases and health conditions based on those characteristics. With modern technologies like DNA sequencing, proteomics imaging protocols as well as wireless monitoring devices becoming available at the treatment level allowing tailored medicine at this level can now become reality.

Pharmacogenetic medicine is one form of personalized medicine. As part of this initiative, UF health has recently introduced the Pharmacogenetic Approach and made available to their patients the opportunity to screen their genetics against 256 genes that influence how their bodies respond to specific medications such as Azathioprine and Clopidogrel, so doctors can identify if patients are at increased risk for adverse side effects from taking such drugs and prevent potentially severe reactions from taking such treatments. Furthermore, UF has collaborated with other healthcare systems on helping implement similar screening efforts on behalf of their patient populations.

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