A substantial amount of excitement and hope has been placed on the promise of “Precision Medicine." And for good reason! The idea that medicine is finally reaching a point where we can personalize treatment for individuals in order to improve overall outcomes is very exciting. For the first time, there is a real possibility that we will be able to treat individuals based on prediction and personalization rather than treating a patient based on how a population responded to a given drug. However, we must collectively set our overall expectations accordingly…for now. Precision medicine in practice is still complex and presents limitations on how it can be effectively applied individually, as well as scaled to the general public.
To begin with, let’s ask the question, “What is precision medicine?" According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), precision medicine is “an approach to patient care that allows doctors to select treatments that are most likely to help patients based on genetic understanding of their disease.” The extraordinary impacts of this definition cannot be understated.
As we look to the future of precision medicine, there are two main challenges that limit this clinical application. The first challenge is incorporating scientific discoveries and simultaneously developing technologies that provide accurate and efficient intelligence to clinicians for personalize patient management. Precision medicine requires a lot of data to be able to personalize a therapy and assess its effectiveness for every patient. This means that we must capture, utilize and evaluate large data sets for every patient, which will require new technologies and methods to be adopted. The second significant challenge is the cost associated with developing new therapies. As new therapies are discovered, tested and approved. The cost will ultimately trickle down and impact patients and healthcare systems. To fulfill the promise of precision medicine, these new therapies must be widely available to the public. In order to accomplish that, we must continue to bring the cost of treatment down. These challenges are not so large that they cannot be overcome. In fact, new technologies are currently being developed that positively impacts the growth of precision medicine. AIQ Solutions (AIQ) for example, has developed technology that is capable of addressing both challenges.
AIQ has designed a medical software platform based on machine learning algorithms, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence that revolutionizes the evaluation of treatment effectiveness and disease states in patients with complex diseases. Patient data is collected and analyzed using data from medical images and the system provides personalized information to principle investigators and clinicians, on whether or not each lesion is responding optimally or sub-optimally to a specific therapeutic. This new approach to evaluating the effectiveness of treatment can have lasting impacts on how pharmaceutical and clinical practitioners evaluate new precision medicine therapies. AIQ's technology is a strong enhancer of precision medicine and provides researchers and clinicians quantitative information on a patient’s personalized response which results in early decisions for drug development and the clinical care of patients.
Additionally, AIQ’s software technology platform can enhance precision medicine by potentially lowering the cost of drug development and patient therapy. By capturing patient imaging data, AIQ is able to demonstrate early in the treatment plan the effectiveness of a therapy. AIQ's technology provides clinicians and researchers with early response information on total disease burden including information on whether each lesion is increasing, stable or decreasing. This information potentially can have a significant impact on cost savings by making drug development and clinical care application more efficient. More comprehensive data from patients' response to treatment earlier in treatment leads to a better understanding of a therapy's effectiveness for principal investigators and the clinical care team, which could lead to lowering the cost associated with personalized medicine through more efficient decisions. These early interventions could include the discontinuation of unnecessary therapy, lowering a therapy dose to reduce the risk of toxicity, or switching to a more effective therapy. All of these steps could save time, and costs for both drug manufacturers, healthcare systems and patients which could ultimately make precision medicine more widely available to those who need it.
It’s truly amazing to see how medicine continues to evolve to serve the greater good. What’s even more amazing is how different organizations around the world are working towards optimizing the benefits of personalized medicine. There is still much progress to be made, however, with the innovation of organizations like AIQ Solutions, momentum continues to move in a positive direction so that one day we will all benefit from the impacts of precision medicine.