Personalized medicine is a healthcare service that uses systematically all known health data that describes human health. It is based on the links between genetics, human behavior and the external environment for the purpose of human counseling.
The Deputy Secretary General for E-services and Innovation at Ministry of Social Affairs in Estonia, Ain Aaviksoo has explained: “In practice, personal medicine provides physicians and patients with advanced decision-making tools, together with codes of practice, which helps to focus more precisely on future risk management rather than on consequences. Personalization means that when giving recommendations or evaluating health risks, the individual is treated as the one patient rather than the general average recommendation for treatment. The e-health options for analyzing individual health and genetic data for each individual are based on existing medical knowledge. Planning for prevention activities, for example with regard to diabetes, should be given more attention to people with a higher hereditary risk. Treatment of the same disease varies according to genetic features. Also, the role of the patient is increasing, because one can adjust his lifestyle in the light of his individual risks and preferences.”
Right drug, at the right time for the right person.
But hereditary disease risks and tailored treatments are not only things that precision medicine is about. There we meet complicated terms like pharmacogemomics (PGx) and nutrigenomics.
PGx is the study of how genes affect a person’s response to drugs. This relatively new field combines pharmacology (the science of drugs) and genomics (the study of genes and their functions) to develop effective, safe medications and doses that will be tailored to a person’s genetic makeup.(*)
Nutrigenomics studies how our individual genetic makeup contributes to how we process what we eat and drink, and how this may affect health outcomes like obesity or cardiovascular disease risk. It looks at the interaction between nutrients and other dietary compounds with the human genome – all the way down at the molecular level.(*)