How new genetic testing and other advancements are allowing for tailored treatment plans

Posted on February 16, 2024

Gone are the days when physicians would recommend generic medication as a one-size-fits-all solution. Now, recent advances in technology and science are making it possible for clinical workflows to meet the needs of their patients down to the genetic level. Genetic testing is becoming a big part of care personalization, helping to improve patient adherence and compliance in many revolutionary ways. In this article, we turn our microscope on how genetic testing and other revolutionary technologies of the day are taking treatment personalization to unprecedented levels.

 Genetic Testing

Genetic testing reinforces diagnostic accuracy

According to a study by WebMD, about 795,000 people are affected by misdiagnosis annually. While the rate of misdiagnosis has averaged 11%, the situation is more severe in other situations hitting as high as 62% for spinal abscesses, which is very challenging to diagnose.

Genetic testing may yet make the diagnostic process more accurate, by providing physicians with genetic data. This can be especially useful when we’re dealing with cases of diseases caused as a result of gene mutations.

Making cancer therapy more targeted

Chemotherapy basically targets and destroys cancer cells that are causing problems, but there’s often collateral damage as healthy cells especially those that multiply quickly, such as those responsible for hair growth, are destroyed alongside them. This can further worsen the patient’s condition and decrease their quality of life.

That all changes with genetic testing, which allows for chemotherapy to be more targeted and precise depending on unique factors that vary from patient to patient such as

1.The nature of the genetic mutation
2.The specific types of cancer cells
3.Specific proteins that fuel cancer growth

With genetic testing, physicians can be able to identify specific cancerous cells and proteins, and even determine the type of gene mutation causing the cancer. Consequently, this helps inform pharmacists who can now formulate a drug that treats unique factors in these cells such as certain proteins, which are not presented in healthy cells.

The intersection of big data and AI

Alongside genetic testing genetic testing, the use of big data and AI is already gaining full steam in the medical scene. We are now witnessing many clinical workflows tapping into the power of this potent combination for the personalization of medicine.

With technologies such as remote patient monitoring, it’s possible to monitor important biometrics of the patient including, but not limited to:

1.Heart rate
2.Respiratory rate
3.Blood pressure
4.Oxygen levels and so on

With RPM generating big data, physicians are bringing AI into the mix to help analyze that data to ensure that key insights are not missed. Intelligent algorithms can help pick out unique trends and patterns for patients, which might be affecting their treatment efficacy.

In cases where treatment plans cause adverse reactions for the patient or don’t instigate the desired progress, care providers can be able to pick up on this in real-time. This helps to switch patients to a different and more personalized treatment regime that leads to better health outcomes.

Identifying DNA changes behind heart disease

In the case of inherited heart disease, genetic testing is also very key in personalizing treatment. Besides identifying the nature of the heart problem, it may be prudent to leverage genetic testing to also pinpoint specific genetic variations or mutations behind the issue.

Therefore, this makes genetic testing an especially important tool for personalizing the treatment of common inherited heart diseases such as:

1.Familial hypercholesterolemia
2.Familial dilated cardiomyopathy
3.Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

With gene replacement therapy, it might just be possible to restore missing material such as functional protein which can ease and personalize recovery for cardiomyopathies and heart failure as well.

3-D printing for personalized dosages

The applications of 3-D printing today are widening, and one way this technology could help increase healthcare customization is by personalizing patient medications. It’s a promising tool in medication that can help ensure patients get medication that matches their needs not just in terms of the target disease but also in terms of weight, genetic makeup and preferences.

Beyond that, 3-D bioprinting can help to treat patients with tissue and organ issues more precisely. By enabling the replication of damaged tissues and even entire organs according to patient-specific metrics, this can help to greatly personalize and revolutionize organ transplant procedures.

What’s more, 3-D printing can help map out patient-specific anatomical models, which can guide surgical planning. This allows physicians to perform complex producers with greater ease and a better understanding of a particular patient’s physiology.

Compounding medicine for drug customization

Another important advancement leading the charge for personalized treatment is medication compounding. This involves altering ingredients within medication to create a drug that better meets the needs of the patient.

With drug compounding, patients can access an entirely new line of treatment that features strategic combinations of medicine that they may not necessarily get with contemporary or mainstream drugs.

Additionally, compounding medicine also allows physicians to take out certain problematic ingredients in drugs such as lactose, which a patient may react adversely to. In turn, this can also make previously ruled-out treatment paths now viable.

Other significant ways that compounding can personalize medicine include:

1.Altering drug administration routes: this can help to alter dosage forms to address issues such as dysphagia or just match a patient’s preferred avenue of administration.

2.Customization of dosage strengths: Additionally, compounding makes it possible to adjust dosage strengths to match the patient’s weight. This helps improve the efficacy of treatment while reducing side effects.

3.Improving affordability: By taking out expensive dyes and other unnecessary ingredients in drugs, compounding also helps to meet the patient’s financial abilities.

Personalization is pivotal

Much in the same way you wouldn’t buy oversized clothes, personalization is enabling patients to enjoy treatment plans that tailor meet their needs. With genetic testing opening up treatment avenues that target patients depending on their genetic makeup, it’s expected that this will only raise and accelerate positive treatment outcomes. But genetic testing isn’t the only advancement taking the world by storm. Other technologies like big data, compounding, and 3-D printing are also leading the disruption and ushering us to a new age where healthcare is custom-made to fit the patient like a glove.