Each patient that walks into the clinic is a unique visitor with their own set of problems and skills and each time they visit is a different experience. What may have worked one day for one patient may not be benefitting the patient the next visit. Personalized medicine in healthcare means that because healing is not linear or static, providers need to stay up to date with their patient’s progress, history, and situation and tailor each treatment to their patient’s specific needs. Traditional diagnoses and treatment have been one-size-fits-all situations but as healthcare evolves so do provider’s recommendations. This approach and new technologies have the potential to exponentially increase the quality of life for patients.
What is Personalized Medicine?
To understand what makes personalized medicine unique, it must first be defined. Personalized medicine is the use of genomics and other outside contributing factors, such as the environment and personality of the patient, to design customized treatment plans for each individual patient. These factors can be used to predict a person’s predisposition to illnesses, reactions to medicines, and certain risk factors. Family history can often be a predictor of ailments a patient is susceptible to and therapists can use this insight to recommend preventative therapies. Below we will explore some of the benefits to patients and providers of personalized medicine:
Patients Make Informed Decisions
Personalized medicine is a much more accurate predictor of how certain medications, exercises, and treatment plans will affect an individual patient. Patients that are included in the decision-making process, make informed decisions about their health and are more likely to follow through on their plan of care. Many patients that suffer from chronic illnesses often say that they feel that their disease has taken away their power. Individualized care puts power back into the hands of patients and allows them to take a hands-on approach to their wellbeing.
Increases Patient Engagement
As patients are provided with more individualized data that allows them to make more informed decisions about their health, their engagement with their treatment plan increases. Other benefits of patient engagement include increased revenue for healthcare providers, better outcomes for patients and a better patient-therapist relationship. Patients are more likely to adhere to their physical therapy if their patient engagement and activation level are high. Patient activation refers to a patient’s level of knowledge, skill, and confidence in managing their own health.
Higher Probability of the Desired Outcomes
High-quality personalized care and high levels of patient engagement equate to better outcomes for the patient. Individualized therapies that evolve along with the patient’s recovery process increase the likelihood that patients will comply and reach greater results. It may even cut down on their recovery time. If patients are happy with their outcomes this fosters a positive relationship between patient and provider and in an industry that is always increasing in cost, patients that achieve their desired results are more likely to stay loyal to their healthcare provider. This makes personalized medicine a win-win for patients and providers.
Focus on Preventative Medicine
The shift to value-based personalized care in the medical industry has put a greater focus on preventative care. This change from reactive to proactive treatment allows patients to live a healthier life and avoid certain illnesses. Preventative care allows for more effective treatment from therapists and healthcare providers and can reduce a patient’s overall medical expenses. In particular, physical therapy can help patients avoid preventable health conditions through education, direct intervention, and integrative therapies leading to a healthier and happier life.
Reduce Costs for Patients
Personalized medicine is more affordable than traditional models of care because preventative care and maintenance are less expensive than treating chronic illnesses or diseases such as cancer. It might seem like a greater investment upfront but the long-term benefits outweigh the initial investment and the costs incurred after becoming sick. It also increases the quality of life for those patients that are dealing with a debilitating illness.
How Patient Engagement Platforms Promote Personalized Medicine
The genetic, biological, and even psychological factors that lead to injury or illness vary from patient to patient and these factors have to be considered in order to provide high-quality care. A simple way to incorporate personalized medicine into a physical therapy practice is using AC Health. Patient engagement platforms and apps, like AC Health, make providing personalized care to patients easy through their portal. The app allows providers to set exercise reminders, goals, and even alert patients of upcoming appointments so they stay engaged and on-course with their treatment plan. There are no paper handouts or generic exercise instructions that patients are likely to ignore or forget about. AC Health, with just one click, provides reminders, instructions, and even pre-recorded custom videos. The remote monitoring and communication functions make it a unique portal for each patient and allow providers to stay involved even after their patient has left the clinic setting.
Personalized medicine, also sometimes called precision medicine, and technology have been revolutionizing the patient care model and improving on areas where patients were previously dissatisfied. This change to personalized medicine instead of the standard care model has led patients to be more involved in their healthcare treatment plan and decision making, and overall more knowledgable about their health. The more hands-on a patient is with their recovery process, the better the desired outcome for the patient. Patient involvement in the process also helps mitigate their expectations for recovery. This shift has also placed emphasis on the preventative care model, which can reduce costs for patients in the long-term and increase their satisfaction with life.
If you are interested in trying out a personalized patient engagement platform for home exercise programs, contact us to try out the benefits of AC Health. Personalized medicine is the wave of the future and no provider wants their patients to miss out on the opportunity of a better life.