Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Redefine Cura Personalis -- Caring For The Whole Person -- Using Systems Medicine

Date:
October 2, 2009
Source:
Georgetown University Medical Center
Summary:
At a time when medicine tends to focus on patients as a "collection of visceral organs and a nervous system," systems medicine provides a new approach to medical practice that is "anticipated to result in more comprehensive and systematic patient care." In a recent commentary, two researchers ask, "Is there a future for systems medicine" particularly as the country considers a health care overhaul?

At a time when medicine tends to focus on patients as a "collection of visceral organs and a nervous system," systems medicine provides a new approach to medical practice that is "anticipated to result in more comprehensive and systematic patient care."

In a commentary published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Sept 2), Howard J. Federoff, MD, PhD, executive vice president for health sciences and executive dean of the School of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center, and Lawrence O. Gostin, JD, associate dean at the Georgetown University Law Center ask, "Is there a future for systems medicine" particularly as the country considers a health care overhaul?

Federoff and Gostin define systems medicine as a holistic approach to a patient's care that incorporates the basic tenets of evidence-based medicine along with the interactions between all components of health and disease including human genetics, environment and behavior.

"The progressive shift toward prevention mandates a different economic model and a repositioning of individual and clinician responsibility for wellness," the authors write.

In fact, at Georgetown University Medical Center, Federoff is leading a comprehensive shift in the focus of research and medical education to incorporate a systems-medicine approach. It's a change that has already influenced the medical school curriculum.

Still, Federoff and his colleague, Gostin, acknowledge the critical concerns raised by systems medicine because of the vast and comprehensive information that will be collected about all patients.

"Although a holistic approach to medicine should benefit patients and society, consideration of the sociolegal, ethical and economic implications is essential," the authors write.

Such considerations for implementing systems medicine include its cost, the privacy of patients, protecting patients against discrimination (health insurance, employment and education) and ensuring equal access to health care for all.

Implementing systems medicine will have "significant upfront costs." Federoff and Gostin say "The economic savings, therefore, may not be realized until well after implementation of this model." And they add that the development and use of new therapies based on this approach could increase costs.

"The collection of personalized information would include treatment and responses, lifestyle (eg, sexual habits, diet smoking and drug use), genetic profiles, environmental factors and family history," requiring a significant focus on the ability to safeguard the data. In addition, using this information to develop personalized medicine could potentially make patients more vulnerable to discrimination.

The authors express concern regarding the impact of systems medicine on equal access to care noting that some barriers could "exacerbate existing disparities in access to quality care..."

Finally, in exploring the sociolegal implications, Federoff and Gostin examine the implications of systems medicine on medical education and practice. While acknowledging that the world of medicine may not fully be prepared for a shift to systems medicine, the authors point out such a shift "is anticipated to result in more comprehensive and systematic patient care in an economically sustainable fashion."

Overall, the authors conclude, systems medicine "promises greater precision in diagnosis, opportunity for earlier intervention, risk-based prevention, individualization of care and optimization of the patient-clinician interface." But, they say, there are many critical factors to take into account.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgetown University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Georgetown University Medical Center. "Researchers Redefine Cura Personalis -- Caring For The Whole Person -- Using Systems Medicine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090901163926.htm>.
Georgetown University Medical Center. (2009, October 2). Researchers Redefine Cura Personalis -- Caring For The Whole Person -- Using Systems Medicine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090901163926.htm
Georgetown University Medical Center. "Researchers Redefine Cura Personalis -- Caring For The Whole Person -- Using Systems Medicine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090901163926.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

What Self-Made Women Need to Know Financially Before Getting Hitched

What Self-Made Women Need to Know Financially Before Getting Hitched

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) Halle Berry was recently ordered to pay her ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry $16,000 a month in child support by a California judge for their daughter Nahla. As women make strides in the workforce, they are increasingly left holding the bag when relationships end regardless of marital status. 'What Monied Women Need to Know Before Getting Married or Cohabitating' discusses information such as debt incurred during the marriage is both spouse's responsibility at divorce, whether after ten years of marriage spouses are entitled to half of everything and why property acquired within the marriage is fair game without a pre-nup. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Clock Ticks Down on Internet Speed Debate

Clock Ticks Down on Internet Speed Debate

Reuters - US Online Video (July 18, 2014) The FCC received more than 800,000 comments on whether and how internet speeds should be regulated, even crashing its system. Lily Jamali reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Wildfire Tears Through Washington

Raw: Wildfire Tears Through Washington

AP (July 18, 2014) A large wildfire continued to gain steam through north-central Washington Friday. The blaze is already responsible for the destruction of at least 100 homes. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins