When you think of precision medicine there are a few things that naturally come to mind: drugs tailored to genetics and certain other genome-based therapies. Medical devices are probably not your first thought.
Earlier this year, Medtronic received approval for MR-Conditional Quadripolar Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy-Pacemakers. Last year they gained approval for a similar technology used in their defibrillators. Not only are these devices approved for scanning in MRI machines but more importantly they usher in a new age of precision treatment that uses highly sensitive cardiac devices to automatically tailor therapy to individuals.
Medical Devices and Personalized Medicine
While genomics is typically what we think of when the topic of personalized medicine comes up, it is important to remember that it’s really about acting on massive amounts of personalized data. Modern medical devices are truly the epitome of personalized medicine. New devices use software to deliver precision medicine in the following ways:
- Gather patient data
- Assimilate data
- Analyze data
- Monitor efficiency
- Fine tune performance
The Medtronic devices, and others like them, are part of a new approach to medicine. The practice of imprecise medicine with its one size fits all approach is out the window. Today, practitioners, drug makers, and device manufacturers are dedicating themselves to finding precise diagnostics and treatments.
The Bottom Line
Companies seeking to differentiate in this space will create custom solutions that minimize patient and practitioner involvement – thus human error. The last decade has seen the emergence of bioelectronics as another viable face of precision medicine. The ability to control therapy for each patient and potentially modulate nerve signals, based on individual need is the future in treating many chronic illnesses and delivering value-based care.
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