The general recommendations on public health (in terms of nutrition, exercise etc.) are, in most cases, not sufficient.
Preventive and personalized medicine goes further: preventive checks, measurement of PSA, including measurement of the homocysteine, hormone levels, fat percentage, vitamin D levels, bone mineral density in men, hormone replacement therapy for those going through the menopause, approaching the subclinical phase of the diseaseetc.
Neolife medical management
Public healthcare is subject to many conditions (mainly economic restraints), which often prevent the application of personalized medicine to an entire population.
We often have to explain to our clients the contradictions which exist between the protocols in place within public healthcare and personalized medicine. It is not that there are two different types of medicine but when a protocol is designed to reach 100% of the population, there are many conditions that must be factored in to ensure the implementation is a success.
The medicine we develop at Neolife, the MP4 (Preventive, Proactive, Preventive and Personalized) Medicine, is a medicine that, based on scientific evidence, is personalized to the greatest extent possible, without taking into account the general conditions and restraints of public healthcare. This debate is already taking place in the US and there are numerous publications that have analyzed the pros and cons of public healthcare versus personalized medicine, also known as precision medicine.
When public health institutions define their health recommendations and their clinical protocols that they intend to apply, they take into account that they will reach 100% of the population, or else they would have a problem on a political level. There are numerous conditions beyond merely the scientific evidence that must be considered before such recommendations and protocols can be implemented effectively for the entire population. Most of them are economic in nature, but also political and religious. Like everything in life, medicine is not immune to such conditions. Euthanasia, contraception, dental health, refractory defects in the eyes, plastic surgery etc. all of them are health problems that for one reason or another are affected by economic, political or religious conditions.
But let us consider the MP4. The positioning of public healthcare when addressing issues such as hormone replacement therapy for those going through the menopause, the prevention of osteoporosis in men, maintenance of optimal vitamin D plasma levels, the prevention of sarcopenia, colon cancer or defining how best to approach a disease in its subclinical phase, amongst attempts to include other factors mean that the outcome is less than ideal in terms of performance. And it must be understood; there are not enough resources to fund everything and priority must be given to only a few select public concerns. Another issue is how best to optimize these resources because we all know that a return on investment in terms of prevention measures far exceeds the amount necessary to spend on “curative” medicine if one talks in terms of pure cost savings.
But this is something that short-term politicians (those who do not see beyond one or two terms) do not value and which is also barely recognized by the health industry itself, since this approach could substantially reduce their income.
Public healthcare determines general recommendations, not personalized plans. These are often insufficient and can reduce the effectiveness of personalized health programs.
A clear example of what we are referring to here is the lack of success in public weight loss programs initiated as part of public healthcare, such as Let’s Move! in the US, MangerBouger in France or Change4Life in the United Kingdom, according to a recent document published by Dr. Adams, from the University of Cambridge (1). Dr. Adams proposes in his document that such information programs be complemented by actions such as increasing taxes on sugary drinks, restricting unhealthy food advertisements which are broadcast at 21:00 (chocolates, snacks, precooked food etc) or limiting the number offers for unhealthy foods in supermarkets. Only by taking such actions could we improve the effectiveness of these programs. However, other experts believe that obesity cannot simply be resolved by eating less and moving more: the causes of obesity are complex and may involve circumstances such as sleep rhythm disturbance, intestinal flora or stress factors.
Another example is the recommended minimum exercise amount that must be carried out. The general recommendation is 30 minutes a day of brisk walking five days a week. However, this recommendation is clearly insufficient for most of us. The achievement of the recommendation does not always equate to optimal health.
But there are many more situations in which the recommendations and protocols of public healthcare may not be sufficient: preventive checks, measurement of PSA, including measurement of the homocysteine, hormone levels, fat percentage, vitamin D levels, bone mineral density in men, hormone replacement therapy for those going through the menopause, approaching the subclinical phase of the disease etc.
Therefore, at the Neolife clinic for anti-ageing medicine we take the fourth P of MP4 very seriously, personalization. We go beyond the general recommendations, which are applicable to 95% of the population by measuring biomarkers for health and longevity that are not included in the protocols issued by public healthcare institutions and we also customize how we prescribe exercise regimes, nutritional supplements and bioidentical hormones so that each of our patients receive the best possible care.
And what is more important, we try to understand, empathize, take care of and help our clients to improve their life styles and quality of life.
“If you treat the disease, you can win (cure it) or lose. If you treat the person you will always win, no matter the outcome of the disease” (Hunter Doherty” Patch “Adams).
(1) Jean Adams, Oliver Mytton, Martin White, Pablo Monsivais. “Why Are Some Population Interventions for Diet and Obesity More Equitable and Effective Than Others? The Role of Individual Agency”. Published: April 5, 2016.