Friday, May 1, 2009

Dr Topol, I agree with you. Patient empowerment is key.

Dr. Topol, who like myself is involved in a Cohort analysis of SNP scans and their effects on health behaviors has a video blog post about the recent Bad Press that SNP scans have gotten.

More importantly, the bad press that DTC genomic companies have gotten. For full disclosure, I am not affiliated with ANY of the DTC SNP scan companies BTW, CPMC was the first study of this kind, not Scripps.

Dr Topol says that there are articles which were published in the NEJM and they were reviewed by me a week or so ago......These articles obviously have caused "consternation"

He states that he approaches this from several perspectives and addresses his research.

There is the "Nihilistic Approach" that if you have an OR of 2 or greater that it is likely that this risk science is not going to go away and he asks "When is the right time to have this information?"

He says there is no real answer to this. And that there needs to be more research on missing hereditary components.....

Then he says he has the "By having this information and Empowering patients, you help them" approach

"That may be a good thing"

Well, here's my take. There are several different data points which are much more predictive, powerful AND CLINICALLY VALIDATED than these SNP scans which can cost upwards of 2500 USD. Let's about Blood pressure? Body Mass Index? CRP? Family History?

The Whole Genome SNP scan is for research, not a business plan, not for clinical medicine.........or for a Venture Investment.

The Sherpa Says: By empowering patients, we help prevent disease. But by telling patients information that may be proven wrong tomorrow, I am not so sure that helps establish patient rapport. Encouraging patients to go out and spend 2500 USD in this economy on something that is relatively useless is the specialty of silver tongued salesmen and marketers like Bernie Madoff. Isn't that what got all of us into this economic disaster in the first place????

1 comment:

David L said...

Couldn't agree more. A major part of transforming healthcare involves empowerment of the patient with intelligent and relevant information.