October 4, 2017
Data is not always the path to identifying good medicine. Quality and cost measures should not be perceived as “scores,” because the health care process is neither simplistic nor deterministic; it involves as much art and perception as science—and never is this more the case than in the first step of that process, making a diagnosis. I share the following story to illustrate this lesson: we should stop behaving as if good quality can be delineated by data alone. Instead, we should be using that data to ask questions. We need to know more about exactly what we are measuring,…Read More
August 30, 2016
Personalized Medicine v Population Health: Opposites or Complements?
If personalized medical care is the goal, how does that fit with the concept of “population health,” the darling of the health care industry’s drive toward better results and lower costs? Are these two concepts really at odds, or do they work in tandem? This is not a rhetorical question; in the current environment of keeping costs under control, lives are at stake. How Personalized Medicine Should Work We know that best outcomes occur when individuals are appropriately assessed and allowed to make choices based on their personal characteristics. Personalized medicine is not a concept of averages; it is a…Read More
August 9, 2016
Personalized Medicine Can’t Wait for Genomic Data
Personalized medicine is off and running. The effort to enroll one million people who will volunteer their genomes for science by the year 2019 kicked off recently with an event featuring President Obama that included more than 150 of the first volunteers. But this effort is not for my patient. It will be either too little, or too late, and certainly not enough. While personalized medicine is an old concept, the new push for personalization focuses on genes or gene products. These, it is hoped, may be better predictors of an individual’s outcome of a disease condition. The new efforts may…Read More