One of the few bright rays of light emanating from the fearful COVID-19 pandemic has been the service and bravery of frontline workers who have enabled the safety of the rest of us hunkered down in our homes.
Genomics, digital technologies, telemedicine, avatars, precision medicine and now artificial intelligence are set to lead to a transformation in health care. Tools are being created that will accurately predict an individual’s risk of disease, thereby enabling the development of plans to allow people to mitigate their risk.
I distinctly recall the moment I decided to become a physician. I was sitting on a bench in the hallway of Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, beside my aunt and older cousin, as we waited for the physicians to complete their examination of my beloved grandmother, in her early 90s, who was seriously ill.
“Father of Personalized Medicine” Dr. Ralph Snyderman Speaks to Duke Pre-Medical Students about the Past, Present & Future of Healthcare
It is a rare opportunity for an aspiring young physician to meet someone who has altered the course of medical history. Recently, 20 Duke undergraduates in Dr. Madan Kwatra’s course Pharmacogenomics had the opportunity to do just that. Kwatra, an associate professor of pharmacology and cancer biology, directs the Glioblastoma Drug Discovery Group at Duke.
The physician-patient relationship is a foundation of clinical care. Physician-patient relationships can have profound positive and negative implications on clinical care. Ultimately, the overarching goal of the physician-patient relationship is to improve patient health outcomes and their medical care. Stronger physician-patient relationships are correlated with improved patient outcomes.
Mobile health, or “mHealth,” is used to describe any medical or public health practice supported by a mobile device. A broad category, mHealth has traditionally encompassed mobile phones, personal digital assistants, and other wireless devices, relying on functionalities such as text messaging, GPS, data telecommunications systems, and Bluetooth technology.
Currently, 1 in 15 people living in the US have Low-English Proficiency (LEP) and it is predicted that this number will increase to 67 million by 2050. As detailed by the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, federally funded health institutions must provide interpreter services for LEP patients; however, due to financial restrictions, this federal requirement is not always enforced. As a result of language barriers, LEP patients exhibit a lower return rate for follow-up visits, which can result in poorer health outcomes. As the number of LEP people living in the US increases, the need for medical interpreters and bilingual medical staff becomes more essential.
As the burden of chronic disease continues to rise, patients and clinicians may seek additional treatment pathways to supplement conventional Western medicine. Trends toward holistic and patient-centered care models increasingly draw treatment-seekers toward non-conventional therapies with a history of use outside of Western medicine.
As the baby boomer generation continues to age, older individuals will accumulate myriad chronic diseases that impact their mobility and leave them homebound. Therefore, it will be important to devise innovative and cost-effective means for delivering care to homebound individuals.
Each year in the United States, there are 130.4 million visits to the emergency department. These visits, especially nonemergency visits, are costly not only to the patient, but also to the health system. The average cost of an ER visit is $1,233, approximately 40% higher than the average monthly rent in America, which is $871.