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 30, 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 30, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Comparing his current crop of drones to early personal computers, DJI founder Frank Wang says the industry is poised for a growth surge - assuming regulators in more markets clear it for takeoff. Jon Gordon reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
London Mayor Outlines 50-Year Vision Ahead of Population Rise

London Mayor Outlines 50-Year Vision Ahead of Population Rise

AFP (July 30, 2014) London Mayor Boris Johnson outlined his infrastructure plan for the British capital over the next 50 years on Wednesday, with a focus on how to cope with a population expected to reach 11 million. Duration: 00:57 Video provided by AFP
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