Why Are We Missing What Is Important In Personalized Medicine?

What ELSI is new (article)This commentary in the Genomics Law Report’s ongoing series What ELSI is New? is contributed by Steven Murphy, Helix Health of CT.

A 33 year old man with anxiety comes to the office. He says he has some worsening of his anxiety. It causes chest pressure. I saw his brother last week for a physical. He told me his father had a heart attack at 50.

The TIMI score for risk puts him at a 0.8% all cause 30 day mortality risk. No big deal right? His Reynolds Risk? 2%. Do I send him for a genetic test? No. I send him for a stress test. Why? Family History.

There are more people with Family History, than with faulty SNPs.

The results? Grossly abnormal test. He now has a coronary artery stent.

The algorithms aren’t refined for personalized medicine or family history. How can we expect Genomic data to change these algorithms?

How can we teach doctors genetics? How can we help doctors integrate it into care?

The attention is on the wrong things. How can we focus on what saves lives? How can we focus on what reduces costs? How can we focus on what is important with all the noise in this space?

Why are we failing physicians by lack of education? How can we demonstrate that this is a tool to augment care? Why are we failing patients by failing to educate their providers? That is the key here, not Open Bars, Blimps, TweetUps, or Public Relations.

Those things just create noise in the hurried clinician’s mind. Unless of course they (the clinicians) have already tuned out anything with the name “Genetic/Genomic” in it…….