Have you ever had a patient come in with an X-ray on which you found signs of decreased bone density? Incidental findings like this are common. We can take advantage of them to improve the quality of the patient’s life, lower the burden on the economy, and so much more. In this particular case, you may prescribe the patient an osteoporosis workup. If it turns up positive, you have just saved the patient from a possibly fatal fracture in the future.
When it comes to healthcare in medicine, it can be divided into two main categories: Reactive and preventive approaches. The reactive approach involves treating a patient after they have experienced symptoms that are severe enough for them to see a healthcare physician. Whilst preventive approach involves making lifestyle changes conducting tests to prevent the disease from occurring in the first place. This approach has been a growing recommendation amongst physicians all over the world.
Now more than ever, we are equipped to institutionalize this approach. Modalities like artificial intelligence can help us create customized predictive models for each patient with information from genetic testing, lifestyle habits, and so much more.
The benefits of this approach are growing day by day. Primarily, this will help our patients lead a better quality of life by avoiding illness long before they start showing symptoms. Additionally, their improved health will boost their productivity in all aspects of life, including their workplace. As a result, the national economy will experience a boom.
Furthermore, the synergistic effect of cutting down on medical emergency costs will also prove beneficial to the economy.
Modern healthcare has been focusing on a reactive approach to healthcare since its birth around WWII when healthcare was focused on diagnosing and treating the sick. As a result, nowadays the Canadian healthcare system is only equipped to handle cases after the diseases have stricken.
This reactive approach works well when treating acute illnesses. However, there needs to be a shift in paradigm with the growing burden of chronic diseases among first-world countries. A reactive approach is not only the costliest and less effective approach but it also fails to meet the treatment criteria for today’s population.
The WHO estimates that fifty percent of today’s disease burden is due to chronic illnesses. The causes of these illnesses are characterized by identifying risk factors, modifying lifestyle, and other avoidable changes.
This proves that the Canadian healthcare focus was historically on reactive instead of preventative coverage for sick people. Even when a preventative approach has been estimated to cut costs down the line.
The P4 approach to medicine is a model for how healthcare should be handled in the future. It stands for
This is the outline of what the modifications to the existing healthcare model should be.
The benefits of such a model include reducing costs, making healthcare more competent, and initiating the shift from reactive to preventive medicine. The active participation of patients becomes necessary to achieve such a model because it paves the way for effective self-management.
Present times are making it easier for such a model to be integrated into our society. Why? Innovative technological advances are not only aiding data collection methods but also diagnostic tools and criteria. This is done by predictive models and algorithms provided by medical software that combine medical imaging and data with artificial intelligence.
Such predictive models are ideal to involve a patient in their preventive healthcare. They can shed light on the need for lifestyle modifications to avoid getting struck by chronic illnesses.
At SofTx Innovations, we aid the transition of traditional healthcare systems to cloud-based, centralized, cost-effective, and portable solutions. Such a shift will help in the transition towards a preventive approach in healthcare that can be used to predict the likelihood of disease in the patient. With this, the healthcare physician can advise them on the lifestyle modifications they need to make or even prescribe prophylactic medicine to further aid them.