A look at the past shows that medicine has achieved a great deal so far. However, many guidelines in the healthcare industry are based on an average patient. It follows that treatment therapies and medications are standardized in a certain way. Standardization has advantages, of course: The guidelines are points of orientation for physicians. Nevertheless, practice shows that certain therapies often remain unsuccessful. For example, antidepressants, have no effect on many people. Or a simple aspirin tablet. It remains a tablet, no matter which person takes it.
How does personalized healthcare work?
A first prerequisite on the road to personalized medicine is the understanding of basic disease mechanisms and the identification of molecular switches for the expression of a disease. The basis for this is breakthroughs in genetic engineering and biotechnology. Good examples of personalized medicine already yielding new diagnoses and therapies include: Cancer, stroke and Alzheimer's disease.
Therefore, chemotherapies were usually the only treatments used against cancer. For a few years now, antibody therapies have been used instead. These are more targeted because they are tailored to a person and the type of tumor
Fields of application: Oncology, ophthalmology, autoimmune diseases
Currently, personalized medicine is mainly used in ophthalmology - especially for retinal diseases - as well as in cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases and in oncology. These areas in particular benefit from individualized treatments.
Rapid technological development is creating fascinating opportunities for further treatment approaches. To date, around 67 drugs have been personalized and used in Germany.
Personalized medicine requires expertise
Digitization is what makes personalized medicine possible in the first place. However, it is necessary to learn how to deal with the collected data that is generated, evaluated and interpreted during treatment. The prerequisite for success is intelligent information and data management.
This highlights the need for analytics and expert knowledge. To be able to master this challenge in the long term and financially, artificial intelligence (AI) is a central factor for dealing with personalized medicine in the future.
The goal is for AI-powered systems to calculate individual medications and personalized therapies based on the collected data.
Prognosis for the future
The potential of personalized medicine is clearly visible. It is already helping to improve health today and can achieve great things in the future. Experts are therefore advising that the potential be exploited. The advance of digital health technologies and personalized medicine are shaping the business models of tomorrow.