Personalized Medicine Expert: Don’t ‘Fix It,’ ‘Predict It’

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Ralph Snyderman, MD

Ralph Snyderman, MD

A Duke University pioneer in personalized medicine at today’s Ohio State University Medical Center Personalized Health Care National Conference said physicians must lead the way in changing the national health care model from disease-based to preventive care.

Dr. Ralph Snyderman, director of the Duke Center for Research on Prospective Health Care, said that personalized medicine based on genetic and other individual patient factors will have to replace the current “find it and fix it” health care approach for reform to succeed.

“We are now in the beginning part of the second major transformation of medicine,” said Snyderman, speaking at the Transforming Health Care Through Personalized Medicine conference at Ohio State Medical Center. “You no longer have to focus on the end state of the disease. Instead of ‘find it and fix it,’ we need to ‘predict it and personalize it.’”

Snyderman, who is chancellor emeritus of Duke University and founder and chairman of health care technology company Proventys, said no business would run on the “root cause for failure” model of the existing health care system.

“Nobody has a strategic plan for their health,” Snyderman said. “I think part of the fault is with us.”

Health care reform must play a role in enabling physicians to practice preventive medicine, Snyderman said, because the current “reimbursement system makes rational care impossible.”

The practice of personalized medicine will shift from disease care to health risk assessment, health status tracking, predicting and working against potential threats, and wellness and therapy planning, Snyderman said.

Dr. Clay Marsh, executive director of the Center for Personalized Health Care at the OSU Medical Center, said institutions such as Duke University and Ohio State are leading the way to make a major shift in national health care treatment and outcomes possible.

“Personalized medicine is not something that is going to happen, but is already being practiced right now here at Ohio State and at other leading institutions across the country,” said Marsh. “By bringing together many of the leaders in the field here to the second-annual Personalized Health Care National Conference, we are letting the world know this change is inevitable and needs to be implemented as rapidly as possible.”

Dr. Snyderman’s full presentation:

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