Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Data Science & Precision Medicine

Abbu (my father) has been sick for a few months. Recently, his kidneys have not been performing well. It's distressful.

I increasingly felt that the prognosis and treatment had been instantaneous, i.e., doctors weren't really able to gauge the historic data/reports and comment accordingly. Also, usually it's a one-size-fits-all approach, which doesn't seem too rational to my mind.

Recently, I found a good nephrologist and digged all the old reports of Abbu and made them as relevant charts and comparative charts to show the correlation between different biochemistry and microbiology values and scenarios. To my surprise, the nephrologist actually utilised the visual analytics and predicted his kidney functions and pointed out some anomaly using the charts and kept referring back to them, eventually giving a treatment which I believe is being helpful.

What always hit me has been the fact that medicines can never be a one-size-fits-all, and each individual requires a precise medicine prescription based on a variety of parameters.

Lo and behold, I found out that there's a branch of data science called Precision Medicine, which utilises data and visual analytics from EHR/EMR (Electronic Health/Medical Records) and algorithms are used to suggest a precise medicine dosage which will be least invasive and most beneficial, saving lives and costs.

Here's to inspiration in the times of distress!