The medicine of the future will be Preventive, Predictive, Proactive and Personalized. And furthermore, to ensure continuity in patient care, treatment must be Pleasant.
In terms of Prediction (Predictive Medicine) we are currently experiencing an era of genetic testing and ultra-accurate imaging. Prevention is taking place across society as good health and awareness permeates wider society and becomes one of the pillars of becoming health conscience. Proactivity will be essential in the future as the patient must be a willing participant in their maintaining their health. And Personalization will develop into individualized check-ups and treatment prescriptions for all.
Dr. Francisco Martínez Peñalver – Neolife Medical Team
Neolife, pioneer in the application of the Medicine of the 4Ps in Spain – the new Medicine of the 21st Century.
For many years, the great theorists behind Anti-ageing Medicine have been proclaiming that the medicine of this century, which is rapidly advancing towards its first quarter, must follow the concept that is widely known as “The Medicine of the 4Ps”. The “Ps” correspond to the founding concepts Prediction, Prevention, Proactivity and Personalization.
To achieve these objectives, it is necessary to better understand where each concept will be in the next few years and to set achievable objectives. For this reason we think it’s helpful to cover them one at a time.
Regarding the Prediction element of the medicine, we are currently experiencing an era of genetic testing, of ultra-accurate imaging and a reduction in the amount of radiation used for such tests, thanks to the knowledge -not cellular, but at a molecular level- of how the human body works…but there are times that in our rush to utilize these ultra-modern tests the amount of physical contact with the patient, which is so often key to the diagnostic process deteriorates to an unacceptable level. The predictive genetic tests (not the diagnostic tests) experienced a great advancement at the beginning of the century: supposedly allowing us to predict everything, but little by little doctors realized that these were not absolute and that in the majority of cases they only accurately indicated a percentage based on the probability that the individual may suffer the disease in question. As for the “ultra-accurate” imaging tests, the doctor’s desire to diagnose and the will of the patient to be diagnosed early, have ensured that CAT scanners and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) have reached a level of accuracy that was unthinkable only 40 years ago not to mention the tests are now used for preventive purposes (i.e., not to confirm a diagnosis, but to detect a disease during the subclinical stages). In fact, such tests no longer only provide “photos”, but they have begun to offer us “movies” of how our internal organs operate. Such imaging tests have also successfully reduced the amount of radiation transmitted to the patient, which had previously been a cause for concern amongst some patients who sought alternative measures. In addition to all of the above, we are now able to predict with a greater level of reliability how the human body will behave, focusing on the smallest unit, the cell, and observe the membrane, the mitochondria, the DNA etc. In summary: we now understand enough elements (although I am sure that in the future we will know even more) to be able to prepare a predictive map relating to the pathologies that could affect each individual in the future.
In terms of Prevention, it is perhaps what has transformed the Health Paradigm the most in the last 100 years. Prevention and the associated message has been permeating all levels of society and is one of the pillars of becoming health conscience. The percentage of people who brush their teeth, wash their hands, try to eat healthily, take probiotics when they are prescribed antibiotics, take measures to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, and take preventive actions are increasing with each day that passes. In fact, we have become so preoccupied with prevention that we are influencing the development of our children’s immune system by forbidding them from coming into contact with outside agents. When we started to educate the population in Health Prevention, small actions could be used to achieve great objectives; but today, we need wide-scale prevention campaigns at a national level to achieve small objectives. It is worth noting at this point that the internet age has posed an obstacle to the development of preventive medicine given the large number of hoaxes which circle online about preventive measures that were or could be harmful to patients, whilst encouraging many other patients to abandon measures that were in reality beneficial to them.
The third point corresponds to Proactivity. The doctor-patient relationship, in which the doctor applied or recommended medicine and the patient “patiently” waited for the treatment to take effect whilst resting, is over. The patient now takes control of their health; they are responsible for deciding the direction their treatment takes and how alternative treatments may affect their lifestyle etc. The doctor is responsible for planning appropriate actions, but the patient is responsible for carrying out the planned action. The fact that the patient now actively participates in maintaining their health helps to ensure that the patient remains motivated during treatment and achieves objectives set that they would have previously considered unrealistic.
The last aspect to be discussed is Personalization. We are used to healthcare systems that accommodate an entire population, where the range for normal for each biomarker is extensive (because the marker has to encompass at least 90% of said population) and where we try as professionals to “automate” diagnoses and prescriptions. The Medicine of the 21st Century attempts the opposite, that is to say, each decision that is taken in respect of each individual is singular and unique to the moment and the characteristics of the patient concerned. It is not only that each patient is different, but that each patient may have different needs according to their age and lifestyle for example. This personalization will lead to individual checkups and treatment prescriptions that correspond to the needs of the patient concerned. Such Personalization ensures that this type of Medicine retains a quality that distinguishes it from other health approaches.
Alongside the preceding 4 “Ps”, there is a fifth “P”, one without which this Medicine does not make sense. It is the “P” of Pleasant treatment. It is very difficult for a patient to undergo any form of Predictive testing, carry out preventive measures, remain proactive with their treatment plan and maintain a healthy lifestyle and/or follow their Personalized Medicine plan if the effects do not appear quickly and clearly. Patients who can observe how their changes have made an impact on the different aspects of their life such as vitality, mental agility, capacity for physical activity, their sex life become hooked on the new medicine of the 21st century. And most importantly, little by little these individuals are making their experiences known to their friends and family, so the health conscience spreads and permeates further – the Medicine of the 4Ps – will end up as the only real way to treat health problems in the future.
Neolife is the only Clinic in Spain that undertakes this new Medicine of the 21st Century. In our Centers we carry out the most avant-garde diagnostic techniques to help us predict or detect diseases before they develop further. We teach patients preventive measures that they should take, we motivate our patients to be proactive and we deliver all of our services in a personalized manner to ensure you can achieve a long and pleasant life. All the therapeutic tips we offer are based upon the latest scientific evidence and are applied by our team of internists -trained in the USA-. Therefore, there are no excuses as to why we do not immediately start our Age Management plan, or indeed our 5Ps Plan.