Diagnostics Future Tech

Wanted: 1 million people to study genes, habits and health

From SFGate:

In a quest to end cookie-cutter health care, U.S. researchers are getting ready to recruit more than 1 million people for an unprecedented study to learn how our genes, environments and lifestyles interact — and to finally customize ways to prevent and treat disease.

Why does one sibling get sick but not another? Why does a drug cure one patient but only cause nasty side effects in the next?

Finding out is a tall order. Today, diseases typically are treated based on what worked best in short studies of a few hundred or thousand patients.

Source: Wanted: 1 million people to study genes, habits and health – SFGate

How many times have you had a patient say something like this? “My (sister, husband, mother) takes horrible care of their teeth. They never floss, don’t see a dentist and they never have dental problems. I floss everyday, get regular check ups and still have bad teeth.”

What is the answer? – Life’s not fair.

It is also a good example of the fact that different people with different genes, different physiology, different diets or even different micro biology react differently to both pathogens and treatment.

Technology, especially big data and AI, has the potential to allow us to personalize treatment not only to the individual patient but down to the individual pathogen.

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