Is prevention the key to being one of the most efficient healthcare systems?
In some countries, primary care physicians routinely visit patients at home. Physicians check the individual as well as their family members and assess their overall living conditions.
Preventative initiatives are developed to avoid individuals needing serious hospital admissions. These initiatives can range from diet alterations and exercise recommendations, to vaccination reminders and screening invitations.
How does Preventative Medicine benefit the individual and community?
Preventative Medicine focuses on an individual’s socioeconomic, environmental and behavioural traits. Every individual receives a tailored healthcare plan based on these factors, promoting a healthier lifestyle and wellbeing which helps prevention of disease. Leroy Hood describes, in his research, the variety of aspects that determine the individual’s health as a “personal, dense and dynamic data cloud”.
The multi-faceted discipline of prevention can be sliced into four categories according to the time of intervention.
- Primordial Prevention – altering the environment to prevent the development of disease risk factors
- Primary Prevention – modifying existing risk factors
- Secondary Prevention – identifying early and treating early
- Tertiary Prevention – stopping the spread or further deterioration of a disease
Can we incorporate Preventative Medicine? Where do we start?
A good starting point would be for our electronic health record to host patient information such as their genetic predisposition, relevant environmental factors, disease history and lifestyle.
Capturing and surfacing such variables, as part of the prevention effort, can be electronically managed in one population health platform.
Access to patient’s location can help identify pockets of the community where a disease is spreading, determining the causes of the disease (e.g. contaminated water) and subsequently actioning measures to stop the proliferation of it (e.g. recommending that people stop drinking from the tap). A rich dataset is essential to enable this level of prevention.
Device data is another promising playground for preventive medicine. The volume of time-series data points that can be collected for a single individual has the potential to consistently monitor health status. As soon as abnormalities are detected, real-time notifications are sent to relevant parties to avoid the risk of adverse events.
A platform designed for Population Health Management and Precision Medicine
Can we take a step in the right direction? Orion Health’s Amadeus is the platform for Population Health Management and Precision Medicine. It aggregates all types of health data, from both traditional and non-traditional sources in one rich repository.
Want to know more about Amadeus? You can read more or reach out to our experts for a chat.
The next blog in our series of the 4Ps of Precision Medicine will focus on an example of Preventative Medicine in action.